How to Use Pruning Shears : Mastering Pruning Techniques

How to Use Pruning Shears: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pruning shears are an essential tool for any gardener or landscaper. They allow for precise and controlled cutting of branches and stems, helping to promote healthy growth and maintain the shape of plants. However, it’s important to use pruning shears properly to avoid damaging the plants. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of using pruning shears effectively.

How to Use Pruning Shears  : Mastering Pruning Techniques


Choosing the Right Pruning Shears

Before you start pruning, it’s crucial to select the right pruning shears for the job. There are two main types of pruning shears: bypass and anvil. Bypass pruning shears are ideal for clean cuts on living stems, while anvil pruning shears are better suited for dead or woody branches. Make sure the shears are sharp and comfortable to hold, as this will make the task much easier.

Step 1: Inspect The Plant

Before making any cuts, carefully inspect the plant to identify the parts that need pruning. Look for dead, damaged, or diseased branches, as well as any overgrown or crossing stems that may be inhibiting healthy growth. Additionally, consider the overall shape and size of the plant to determine where cuts are necessary.

Step 2: Prepare The Shears

Ensure that the pruning shears are clean and sharp before you begin. Wipe the blades with a clean cloth and use a sharpening tool to sharpen the cutting edge if needed. This will ensure that you achieve clean cuts, promoting faster healing for the plant and reducing the risk of disease transmission.

Step 3: Make The Cut

When making a cut, position the blade of the pruning shears at a 45-degree angle to the stem or branch. This angle helps to prevent water from accumulating on the cut surface, reducing the risk of disease. Be mindful of the plant’s natural growth pattern and make cuts just above a bud or lateral branch to encourage new growth in the right direction.

Step 4: Practice Proper Technique

Use a steady, even pressure to close the blades of the pruning shears, making a smooth, clean cut. Avoid using excessive force, as this can cause damage to the plant. If you encounter thicker branches that are difficult to cut, consider using a pruning saw instead to avoid straining the shears or risking an uneven cut.

Step 5: Prune With Precision

Take your time with each cut, ensuring that you’re removing only the necessary parts without causing unnecessary damage to the plant. By pruning with precision, you can promote healthy regrowth and maintain the structural integrity of the plant, leading to a more aesthetically pleasing and vibrant garden or landscape.

How to Use Pruning Shears  : Mastering Pruning Techniques


Tips for Using Pruning Shears Safely

While using pruning shears, it’s important to prioritize safety to avoid accidents and injuries. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from thorns, sharp edges, and potential plant toxins.
  • Avoid cutting thicker branches that are beyond the capacity of your pruning shears, as this can damage the tool.
  • Keep the blades of the shears clean and oiled to ensure smooth operation and prevent rusting.
  • Store the pruning shears in a secure place, away from children and pets, when not in use to prevent accidents.


Mastering the art of using pruning shears is a valuable skill for any gardener or plant enthusiast. By following the step-by-step guide and safety tips outlined in this article, you can confidently wield your pruning shears to achieve healthy, well-maintained plants and a visually stunning garden or landscape.

Nazmul's, residing in Fresno, CA, is the founder of Best Gardener. A content creator and avid gardening lover, he cultivates a Organically haven where greenery thrives, knowledge blooms, and gardening enthusiasts unite.

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