Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to pruning: tree pruning


the horticultural practice of cutting away an unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable plant part, used most often on trees, shrubs, hedges, and woody vines. Man uses pruning to remove diseased or injured parts of the plant (see tree surgerytree surgery,
practice of repairing damaged trees to restore their appearance and to arrest disease. Injured or diseased parts are first removed (even small cavities in the bark may harbor injurious fungi and insects), the surfaces are treated with antiseptics and healing aids,
..... Click the link for more information.
), to influence vertical or lateral growth for various reasons, and to increase flowering or fruit yield. Top pruning, or topping, induces lateral growth, and in fruit trees not only produces a more easily accessible shape but also diverts the expenditure of nourishment from the formation of useless wood to that of buds and fruit. In transplantingtransplanting,
in horticulture, the process of removing a plant from the place where it has been growing and replanting it in another. The major requirement in transplanting (especially of larger plants) is a sufficient water supply, since the roots are almost inevitably injured
..... Click the link for more information.
, the aerial parts of the plant are pruned to balance the amount of root destruction, so that the transpiration area is reduced and the roots have a chance to concentrate their activity on establishing contact with the soil. Judicious pruning of garden perennials helps to maintain plant vigor and prolongs blooming. In topiary worktopiary work
, pruning and training of shrubs and trees into ornamental shapes, used in landscape gardening. Elaborate topiary work in which trees and shrubs are clipped to resemble statuary (e.g.
..... Click the link for more information.
 shrubs and trees are pruned to form decorative shapes. As in other horticultural practices, the type of pruning and its timing vary and must be adapted to the specific plant and the conditions of its environment.


See E. P. Christopher, The Pruning Manual (1954); R. L. Hudson, The Pruning Handbook (1973); C. Brickell, Pruning (1979).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Keep pruning your espaliered plants as they send out new growth to keep them looking crisp.
"Many people believe their trees need to be pruned," he says, "but in fact, most trees don't require pruning, and in some cases it's detrimental or, at best, unsightly."
Emma Allen, a garden manager at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Wisley, says it's difficult to give general pruning advice.
"You can risk damaging new growth or prune the flowering stems, so if you don't know what you're pruning and can't identify the plant yourself, call in an expert.
You can risk maging new growth or prune the flowering stems, so if you don't know what you're pruning and can't identify the plant yourself, call in an expert.
Take stock of the garden and what needs pruning. It's best to always check pruning for your specific plant but, as a general rule, deciduous trees and shrubs need a light prune every autumn.
Ehlenfeldt subjected Jersey (northern highbush) and Legacy (southern high-bush) blueberry plants to early and late pruning protocols and conducted a freeze-thaw study evaluating the damage to flower buds on detached shoots.
This involves pruning just above a bud, which will grow out to take the place of the pruned bit.
Data was gathered over 8 years in a developing Howard orchard to see if trees can grow and produce well without pruning. [Graphic omitted]
One general rule that gardeners follow is that after the middle of February is the time to begin winter pruning of fruit trees and shrubs.
PRUNING trees along the capital's major roads for the past three weeks continues to cause a stir amongst residents, many of whom are furious over the municipality's decision.