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Winter pruning of limes, hazels & dogwoods

Hard pruning takes courage and gardeners are often reluctant to  carry it out for fear of harming or, even worse, killing the plant. Once it is understood that more trees and shrubs are lost through neglect than by pruning the task becomes somewhat easier. In far too many gardens woody plants are grubbed out because they have outgrown their allotted space when judicious pruning at an earlier stage of their life would have allowed them to thrive and give pleasure for many more years. Outgrown its space? Don’t remove it, prune it! January and February are the perfect months for carrying out  coppicing and pollarding and some shrubs like willow and dogwoods, grown for the winter colour of their bark, are actually improved by the process. Coppicing and pollarding are traditional techniques that have been carried out for centuries in woods and forests to provide a plentiful supply of fuel and fencing materials. As with all procedures, jargon evolves and coppicing and pollarding are just wor

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