Cathie Welch of Cathie’s Gardening School turns her attention to one of the most pressing issues for gardeners this month – the pruning dilemma
With the extremes of temperature and subsequent plant damage I have attended many garden consultancies and answered numerous questions from my students and clients. All the questions and concerns have been exactly the same; do I prune now or leave well alone? This question is one that has stumped all of us experts as these climate extremes have never happened before.
Dead or alive?
Even though plants have suffered terribly some will have died and others will have just become defoliated or gone brown. The important bit is under the bark on the stems (the cambium layer where the cells divide). Using your nail or the blade of secateurs scrape away a little of the bark. It should be bright green. If it’s brown it’s dead. This all depends on the type of plant of course and it’s never that easy!