Gardening: ‘Make straight cuts’ when pruning the garden instead of slanted – here’s why

Homebase UK provide advice on June gardening jobs

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Richard Jackson, QVC’s gardening expert, answered myths when it came to gardening, and in particular pruning. Pruning involves the selective removal of certain parts of a plant to facilitate better growth. It is often recommended to cut at an angle when pruning shrubs and trees in the garden.

However, Richard told “The usual reason quotes is that a slanting cut will shed water.

“It doesn’t. The material inside the cut stem is porous, so it will absorb water that it comes into contact with, whatever the angle.”

The expert said that a slanted cut has a larger surface area, so it absorbs more water.

He added: “The plant cells that ensure the cut heals quickly are situated at the nodes.

“So the end furthest away from the node will heal more slowly and the whole cut heals at different rates.

“So, make straight cuts.”

So what should gardeners be pruning throughout the month of June?

According to one expert, this month is the best time to prune evergreens.

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Evergreen plants have foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season, meaning sometimes they can get quite out of hand.

Tom Hilton, outdoor and indoor garden expert at National Greenhouse, said: “Evergreens are ideal for June pruning.

“If you prune them too early in the year, you risk damaging them further, as they will already be quite weak from frost damage.

“At the start of summertime is the best period for pruning, where you can work on their structure for successful growth and begin neatening them up by removing damaged and weakened stems.

“Some popular evergreen shrubs to prune in June are camellias, ceanothus and rhododendrons.”

When it comes to pruning, gardeners should reach down to the strongest branches where the emergence of new buds will be.

The cut should be made just above these.

Cutting just above new buds will ensure that all the energy within the plant will be evenly distributed.

When it comes to pruning a rhododendron, it is often recommended to deadhead.

This encourages the plant to put its energy into new growth rather than pruning seed.

As soon as the shrub has finished flowering, gardeners can deadhead it, cutting just above a set of leaves.

Gardeners should also make sure they have the correct pruning tools before they prune any shrubs or trees.

This includes a pruning saw, secateurs or a pair of long-handles loppers.

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