Things You Will Need
Pruning shears, Long handles shears, Limb saw, Limb saw with an extension pole, Hedge trimmer
If you have any trees or plants that are near power lines or need permits to trim, I recommend that you get professional help. Working around power lines can prove to be deadly.
The first step to actual pruning is to step back and visualize what you want the plant to look like. Decide which branches need to be removed to achieve your goal. Knowing the growth pattern of the plant will be beneficial at this step.
Begin pruning by cutting the dead or dying branches. Remove the diseased branches being careful not to bring them in contact with healthy branches to possibly pass on the pathogens. Use a separate pair of pruning shears or carefully disinfect them before cutting healthy branches.
Remove grounding branches, (those growing toward the ground). This will help the tree or shrub maintain an upright appearance. Remove branches that are growing into each other and remove some of the interior branches to allow light to penetrate.
Step back periodically and observe how the shape of the plant is developing. Make any necessary adjustments to achieve your desired shape.
Pruning is one of the most important aspects in keeping your plants healthy and in shape. Regular pruning will result in a healthier plant in the long run.
Tips & Warnings
Keep your pruning tools clean and sharp. Learn the growth patterns of your plants.
Do not allow diseased branches to come in contact with healthy branches.