ALWAYS prune backwards or just above a growth point (branch or bud) or to the ground line. NEVER leave a stem or a piece of branch. NEVER plant a tree to “rejuvenate” growth. Make a clean cut just above a bud, forming an angle away from it.
Do not leave a stem that is too long above the bud (right end), as this will rot and allow the disease to enter the rest of the healthy stem. Make a flat cut (means that moisture does not drain from the cut, which again causes rotting). If cut too low, the yolk loses part of its food source. One drawback of blunt pruning shears (it provides a home for pests and diseases).
Cutting toward the yolk (funnels rainwater to it) The best cut is a sharp angle with a clean edge just above the yolk (. Severe pruning (or cutting back) will generally result in vigorous growth, but light pruning will allow for slower growth. If you're planting in fall or early winter, cut off damaged or immature shoots at the end of the shoots behind the terminal bud. There is no need to apply paints, wound dressings, or chemical formulations of any kind to the cut surface.
But when entering difficult spaces and working with very thick stems, long-handled pruners provide the necessary additional cutting strength and force. In the middle or late fall, it's a good time to cut off immature or unblossomed shoots and tilt (cut) the stems with faded flowers. If a plant hasn't been pruned regularly and allowed to grow in a naturally occurring pattern, that plant may need what's called a severe cut, resulting in many new shoots and rapid growth the following spring. Reduce weak growth more severely than stronger stems and, to encourage the replacement of old wood with a new one, cut one of the two main stems of the older wood to the base.
Understanding how plants grow and develop, and the effects on plants of cutting them into a stem, is important for successful pruning. The only thing you'll want to know is if there's rain in the forecast, since moisture can increase the likelihood that newly cut branches will become infected with diseases. The main purpose of pruning these plants is to provide space and cut older wood to allow the development of new vigorous shoots from the base of the plant. This basic maintenance pruning should cause you to cut each stem until you get a bud that is between six and 10 inches above ground level.
Research has shown that sealing cuts and wounds in trees does not accelerate healing and, in fact, may promote decay. To maintain their abundant floral displays, you should cut some of the wood in late spring or early summer. The sharp blades make cleaner cuts, preventing unnecessary damage to trees and shrubs and making pruning much easier. There are people who claim that pruning goes against the plant's natural growth pattern and has the potential to damage it, opening a cut that allows the disease to flourish.
Pruning saws, with their curved blades and sharp teeth, are specially designed to make clean cuts through branches that manual pruners and pruners cannot handle.