November gardening tips: pruning ornatmental trees

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Garden trees such as birches and cherries with awkwardly placed lower branches can be pruned now, with no risk of the weeping sap that readily gushes at other times. Take your time deciding the effect you wish to achieve, then step forward with secateurs, loppers and folding saw (the ‘Grecian Bend’). Small shoots can be cut off cleanly, not flush with the trunk, but back to the little projecting collar. Leave no 4in ugly stubs to jab the skin of later visitors. Larger branches should be cut off in sections to lessen the weight and minimise the risk of unseemly tearing.

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