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Pruning a rose to just above a node

Pruning tips to prevent wind-rock

Fierce winter gales can damage plants by loosening their roots – discover how to protect them.

Pruning certain plants in autumn will help to keep them healthy and in good shape, so they’re in the best condition to cope with any extreme weather.


Newly planted shrubs and any plants that have become top heavy should be cut back to avoid wind-rock. Thin out congested growth to create a lighter, more open framework, and cut back any long, leggy stems.

You will need:

The right tool is essential for this task – for more information read our guide to tools for pruning. If you’re looking to update your kit, our experts have been busy testing the best secateurs, so you can buy with confidence.

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More pruning content:

Take a look at our pruning tips to prevent wind-rock, below.

Newly planted shrubs and any plants that have become top heavy should be cut back to avoid wind-rock.

Reduce the height of tall shrubs

Pruning a finished flowerhead off a buddleja

Shorten the stems of tall shrubs such as buddleias, shrub roses and hydrangeas that you will then prune properly in spring.

Take a third off

Pruning a rose stem

Work systematically around the plant, cutting all the stems back by about a third.

Prune to an outward-facing bud

Prune to just above an outward-facing bud, making an angled cut so that winter rain runs off easily and doesn’t cause rot. Discover more tips for better pruning.

Protecting roses from wind-rock

Pruning a rose stem down to a node

Shrub and bush roses can grow very tall by autumn, so cut back the stems by between a third and half of their height. This will stop the plants swaying in the wind and becoming loose in the soil. Here’s our complete guide to looking after roses in autumn.


Wind-rock susceptible plants to prune