Last year it was Storm Ali, this year the UK is going to be feeling the effects of heavy rain and high winds from Hurricane Lorenzo at the start of the month. However, a storm battered garden at this time of year can be quickly remedied! Thankfully it’s the perfect time for pruning if you haven’t begun already and will prevent damage from further storms we will not doubt be experiencing later in the year.
Arm yourself with a pair of sharp secateurs, shears, a saw and tough gloves. If you’ve neglected your tools over the years get rid of any build-up of rust with a wire brush and an oiled rag. You’ll want your tools sharp enough to prevent damage whilst pruning so either take them to a professional or treat yourself to something new!
For trees, take out the damaged wood using a sharp pair of secateurs. Use a slightly angled cut just above a leaf nodule which will prevent die back from happening. Be vigilant of birds nests so as not to disturb them. Think about direction of growth – pruning to a leaf node at the right side will send new growth that way. Always clean your pruning tools after use to prevent bacteria and diseases spreading – warm water and washing-up liquid is perfectly adequate.
Deciduous shrubs will be losing their leaves so you’ll be able to see exactly where you need to prune. Try and keep your plant symmetrical and remove and overcrowding from the centre and you’ll see vigorous, healthy growth in the Spring.