What to prune in summer

By summer all risk of frost is passed, making it the ideal time to prune plants that have suffered from cold earlier in the year. It's also the time to prune many spring-flowering shrubs, some fruit trees and to trim topiary and hedges. Find out more and follow our pruning tips, below.


Tender shrubs

Includes plants that can be damaged by late frosts, such as:

· Abutilon

· Outdoorfuchsias

· Hibiscus syriacus

· Romneya

Key tool: secateurs

How to do it: remove any stems killed by frost to encourage strong new growth to grow from low down in the plant. It's best to leave this until early summer when all risk of frost has passed. You could also use loppers.

Spring-flowering shrubs

Shrubs that flower on stems formed in the previous year, including:

· Deutzia

· Floweringquince

· Forsythia

· Philadelphus

Key tool: loppers

How to do it: prune after flowering to encourage strong new growth that will flower next year. Remove the oldest, woody stems right down to the base. You could also use secateurs, or a prunings aw for thick branches.

Fruit trees

Removing soft, new growth will promote fruit formation on:

· Apples

· Cherries

· Pears

· Plums

Key tool: secateurs

How to do it: prune out new excess growth. The aim is to create space that will allow more light and air in through the tree. This will help the fruit to ripen. You could also use loppers, a pruning saw or long-reach pruners.

Hedges and topiary

Cut back the current season's growth to maintain shape. Shrubs to tackle include:

· Beech and hornbeam

· Box

· Leylandii and Thuja

· Privet and laurel

Key tool: hand shears

How to do it: clip slow-growing beech, hornbeam or box at the start and end of the summer. Trim fast-growing privet every six weeks. You could also use secateurs or topiary shears for small hedges.


Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to prune a plum tree

How to prune your plants

How to prune spring-flowering plants

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