Posted: 18/07/2012 at 10:23
It very much depends why you are pruning? Are you wishing to contain a plant that is rather too big for its site? Do you want to encourage flowering and / or fruiting? Plants in the wild don't get pruned and they survive, so really, unless you go totally wild you can't kill anything with a bit of pruning. Indeed, to prune after flowering is a good rule, of thumb, knowing whether the plant does whatever you want it to do on new or old wood is a good idea, i cut off my lilac flowers for ages before i realised I was doing it too late - poor thing, i gave it all sorts of abuse because it didn't flower, and it was my fault. Stick to one set of guidelines, too many books will confuse you and then the plant - they are very forgiving, and want to grow, so any mistakes will correct themselves in due course.