If you’re interested in trimming and tending to your plants, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before you start. Trimming can make your plants look beautiful, take care of any health issues, and keep unruly branches out of the way from hazards. But if not done properly, trimming can end up damaging the tree or shrub.

One of the key things to keep in mind when trimming a plant is which branches can be cut and which need to be kept. Unless it’s for a good reason, it’s better not to remove a branch that is over five centimeters in diameter. It’s also highly recommended that you only trim a plant when it is in its dormant season, unless there is a hazard. Wait until the coldest part of winter is passed before pruning and you will see a more vigorous growth in the spring. If the branch is dead, however, you can trim it regardless of the season. You should also try to only trim the branches that have narrow angles rather than the stronger, broader angles. Trimming branches when they’re younger is also better for the tree or shrub than if you trim older branches.

An overall good tip is to not trim or prune your plants during the fall. During the fall, decay fungi spread their pores more than any other season. This leads to wounds healing very slowly and can leave scarring and increase the risk of complications. When you trim in the spring in order to enhance flowering, make sure to wait until all of the flowers fade before pruning. Trees or shrubs that produce flowers in the summer should be pruned in winter instead of fall.

Trimming and pruning your own plants can be cost efficient and make your landscaping look more attractive and healthy. But if you aren’t confident with your own pruning, you can always do some extra research or hire a professional.