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pruning limb

Are You Spreading Problems in the Landscape?

Are You Spreading Problems in the Landscape? Factsheet (PDF)

Pruning equipment can spread disease in the landscape if not properly cleaned and disinfected.  By disinfecting gardening tools on a regular basis, you can help prevent the spread of plant diseases in your landscape.

When pruning out a disease, pruning equipment should be sanitized between each cut.  If conducting normal pruning it is recommended that you sanitize between each plant and commercial landscape companies should clean tools, at the very least, between each job site.  Commercial landscape companies working on long rows of trees should clean tools every ten trees.

Cleaning pruning tools is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Remove dirt and debris from tools.
  2. Dip or soak tools in a disinfectant solution. See factsheet above for recipes.
  3. Dry tools.

Pruning tools that are regularly disinfected need to be kept in top condition. Older blades become pitted and these pits can harbor microbes that are unaffected by quick sterilization. This is especially true of bacteria associated with active cankers. Disinfectants should never be applied to pruning wounds because of their ability to further injure the plant and prevent callus tissue from forming, slowing the healing process.

When dealing with diseases like Bot Rot, Witches Broom, and fungus, cleaning pruning equipment is essential to keep from spreading the problem!

For more information please contact michelleatkinson@ufl.edu or call 941-722-4524 x1818.

References:

Denny, G. and G. Vallad. 2012. Disinfection of Horticultural Tools. EDIS #ENH1121

Lamborn, A. Disinfecting Pruning Tools. UF/IFAS Fact