Maintenance Pruning part three; Scissor Trimming and Finger Pruning

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Finger Pruning Conifers

juniper pruning

juniper pruning

Finger-pruning the foliage of a Juniper

The maintenance pruning of conifers such as Junipers, Cedars, Larch and Cryptomeria must be carried out by finger pruning throughout the season. If scissors are used, the foliage and shoots turn brown and this looks ugly.

Coniferous species have foliage, which contains a 'weak point' that if utilised, can enable removal of the shoot/needle without browning off. By holding the tip of the shoot between the pads of the finger and thumb and gently pulling away, the weak point of the shoot breaks cleanly and the shoot can be pulled away.

Care must be taken not to use fingernails to apply more pressure; this will cause the foliage shoot to break at a point where browning off can occur.

As with deciduous species, this regular pruning will result in denser foliage emerging leading to the eventual creation of foliage pads.

juniper bonsai

The hardened-off shoots of Junipers can be scissor-cut.