Pruning trees, shrubs and conifers

Branches of trees and shrubs are pruned 5 to 10 mm above a bud facing outward, or pruning to the first lateral branch.


Tree pruning

A: Perfect size

Tree pruning

B: Cutting surface too large

Tree pruning

C: Too far from the bud 

Tree pruning

D: Too close to bud


NB: It is not necessary to trim a tree every year.

The purpose of tree pruning is to:

Preserve the symmetry of the tree and encourage the formation of strong branches.

Have balanced carpenter and secondary branches while respecting the very nature of the tree species.

Remove broken or diseased branches.

The motto of the amateur or professional horticulturist

The right tree in the right place!!!

Size period


Early spring

Ginko biloba

After flowering

Apple tree
Syringa vulgaris
Syringa X....
Magnolia X soulangiana


Hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli)
Ash (Fraxinus)
Mulberry (Morus)
Plum and decorative cherry (Prunus)
Sorbier (Sorbus)
Oak (Quercus)
Linden (Tilia)

Late June

Maple (Acer)
Birch (Betula)
Maronnier (Aesculus)
Bohemian Olive Tree (Elaeagnus angustifolia)



Pruning shrubs includes removing dead or diseased branches and facilitating sunlight penetration. Old branches are removed to help rejuvenate the shrub. Avoid giving the shrub an unnatural shape.

Shrubs that flower early in spring are pruned immediately after flowering.

Shrubs that flower in summer or fall can be pruned early in spring and after flowering. It often happens that there are two blooms during the same season.


The size of conifers should be made in the new shoot of the year.

Avoid cutting conifers from old wood as they will not make new shoots.

To eliminate a branch, it is recommended to trim up to the lateral branch.

NB: Conifers are pruned from St-Jean until mid-July.


Pruning is done in the candle stage (new shoot).When the needles are visible, they can be removed two-thirds of the candle.

Juniper and Cedar

Pruning is done when the year's growth is completed.


Pruning is done by pruning half of the new shoot, late June to mid-July.

You can trim the end of the side branch or the bud.



Pruning should be done when the tree is dormant and the risk of frost has passed, early in the spring. So after March 15 until vegetation. Prune the branch, leaving 1 cm above the bud.


During first pruning

Choose the central stem among the most vigorous shoots of the head. Eliminate bad forks and branches that are too low. Keep 3 to 5 carpenter branches; the first should be about 1 meter from the ground. Space the others 15 to 30 cm around the central stem.

During second pruning

Choose new carpenter branches, 5 to 7 should be kept Choose 2 to 3 secondary branches per carpenter branch; these branches grow on each side of the carpenter branches. Cut those above and below.

Third size

Do as in the 2nd size. Keep the tree balanced.

Fourth size

As for the 3rd size, if the central stem is too long...fold it down to the height of the last carpenter.


ALWAYS cut off the gourmets that grow at the base of the trunk.

NB: Apple production tree

Remove weak branches from the inside and bottom of the tree.

Remove dead, broken, diseased or crossing branches.


The size is the same as for apple trees. The distance between the carpenter branches should be reduced to 15 cm and the first carpenter to 60 cm.

The production size is limited to the pruning of gourmets, dead wood and branches with black nodules.


The same size as apple trees, as the pear tree tends to spread: DO NOT THIN too much at the head of the tree.


Select three almost horizontal branches, which are located at the same height and keep the centre clear. It is necessary to pinch the tips of the branches in early June and late July.

NOTE: For apricot when pruning is complete; make only light pruning.

Do not hesitate to ask for more details.

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