During autumn, plants die back to conserve energy over the colder months. Pruning at this time helps to avoid plants losing their branches and shape to wind and frosts.
Pruning allows for any damage or disease to be removed before it spreads and stops plants from taking over your garden. This also lets more light into your garden during winter which other plants will benefit from.
Before you jump into cutting away, take note of which plants you are going to prune and how much you wish to remove. Most trees and shrubs are good candidates for pruning at this time of year, but if you are unsure, do your research to ensure you are pruning at the right time of year for the plant.
Once you’ve decided on an overall shape for your plant, remove one branch at a time at a 45 degree angle to stop moisture collecting at the wound which could slow down the sealing. If you are simply shortening a branch, make sure to cut just above a healthy bud or side shoot where the new branch will grow from. Remember to step back regularly to check your work. It’s best to aim for a natural, well balanced shape which suits the space of the plant.
If your borders are looking full of tall and messy perennials, particularly those lacking in decorative seedheads, use secateurs or garden shears to remove any dead flowers and stems. Make sure to cut as low as possible and at an angle so that water doesn’t collect inside and freeze which could potentially cause damage. Any dead or rotting foliage should be cleared away to avoid fungal diseases and pests. Doing this will allow for better growth next year. Again, if you are unsure on which perennials to prune, research the plant first.
Source: David Domoney