Pruning Principle, Objective and Methods



Judicious removal of plant part to obtain better and qualitative yield is termed as pruning
Pruning is started in later part of plant life, when it becomes capable to produce flowers and fruits.


  • To control flowering and fruiting.
  • To augment production in plants which bear on new shoots.
  • To obtain regular bearing.
  • To remove diseased, damaged, insect infested and weak shoots.
  • To thin out flowers and fruits.
  • To ensure access to sunlight to bearing shoots.
  • To invigorate the plants.
  • To have a balance between vegetative and reproductive growth.


  • Remove water sprout.
  • To remove a shoot completely, it should be removed from the base.
  • Avoid bark injury while pruning. To do so, the branches of bigger diameter should be cut from downward surface.
  • Pruning should be completed well in advance of flowering season.
  • In deciduous plants, pruning should be done in advance of winter so that low temperature injury may be minimized.
  • Apply Bordeaux paste after pruning to avoid incidence of diseases.
  • Crowded, interlacerating, diseased, damaged and insect infested shoots should be removed.


1. Heading back
Removal of terminal portion of shoot leaving basal portion intact is termed as heading

2. Thinning
Selective and complete removal of part of the plant is termed as thinning.

3. Ringing or Girdling
In this process, a circular ring of bark measuring about 3 cm in length is removed. It
hastens flowering and fruiting by allowing greater accumulation of photosynthates in upward
portion of the plant.

4. Notching
Notching. It checks the influence of hormone and encourages growth.
Making a notch above a bud by removing a wedge shaped piece of burk is termed as

5. Nicking
Making a notch below a bud by removing a wedge shaped piece of bark is termed
result in the formation of fruit bud nicking.

All the above kinds of pruning are practised in case of stem. Root and leaf pruning are
also in vogue. Root pruning is very essential operation in developing bonsai and growing
potted plants.

The very purpose of maintaining plants in dwarf shape is achieved by root pruning
While reporting, a portion of coiled and old roots are removed to invigorate the potted-plants
In citrus fruits, root pruning is regularly done by tilling the soil during December January. In
guava, to regulate flowering, root pruning is done by digging trenches. Leaf pruning is very
common practice in bonsai. A portion of leaves is removed to maintain the plant in dwar
form. In guava, newly emerged flush of leaves are pruned to regulate flowering.

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