How to Promote Plant Growth with Pruning?
Pruning is often performed to remove dead or dying parts of a plant (including potentially bug or disease infested portions) in order to save the rest of the plant from injury. In addition, pruning can be done in a more specialized fashion for fruit and flowering plants that will increase the yield and quality of flowers and fruits. Different types of pruning will have different effects. Dead heading is the process by which dead flowers are removed from a flowering plant.
This process will divert that plant's resources into the formation of new flowers. This is a perfect example of a pruning technique that can increase the yield of a flowering plant. Though the process by which a plant is pruned is, itself, causing injury to the plant, this injury is minor and often serves to promote further growth rather than long term damage. There is always, however, the risk of infection or increased decay due to the injury caused by pruning.
There are a large number of general techniques that can be applied to a large number of plants in order to accomplish the promotion of plant growth through pruning. The first of these techniques is used primarily on woody plants. This technique is known as dead-wooding, and is the removal of dead wood. Typically, this is simply a matter of pulling on the dead piece of wood (or the dead shoot, depending on the plant) until it gives and comes off. This promotes new plant growth by removing excess pathways through which nutrients may be diverted. A second pruning technique is the process of crown and canopy thinning. This technique is commonly used in trees. Thinning of the canopy allows light to better reach leaves and allows wind to travel through the canopy in a more efficient way (reducing risk posed by storms that produce strong winds).
The four main methods of general pruning are thinning, topping, raising, and reduction. Thinning is the removal of shoots or limbs from plants at their points of origin. This is used to promote new growth through the removal of problematic or excessive areas of growth. Pruning through thinning is especially used in flowering plants and fruit bearing plants. The second technique is topping. This involves removing all branches but a select few large branches. The third technique is raising, which is mainly used to remove lower branches and allow the plant to grow higher.
This promotes new growth especially in urban areas where plants must reach a certain height in order to gain access to sunlight. Reduction is typically used in order to prevent excess growth and to promote new growth which will be of more use to the plant (growth in areas of increased sunlight or better environmental conditions).
Pruning can be used in a variety of ways to increase the growth of plants. It can be used to reduce the amount of 'dead weight' that a plant may carry in order to better direct nutrient flow and sunlight. In addition, it can be used to increase the yield of flowering plants and fruit bearing plants in order to promote growth by way of increased seed production. Pruning is very useful to promote healthy plant growth and is a very simple way to increase both the aesthetic and the biological health of plants.
Written by : Alexander Maness, United States (M.S. in Biotechnology )
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )