1. Heading Cut – Cutting plant stems back to a bud, twig or stub. Potential problems – a stub is often left and may become infested with insects or diseases, vigorous growth may be stimulated, and the new growth may be weakly attached and could split or crack under pressure. This may also negatively affect the desirable, graceful arching habit of some shrubs.
2. Thinning Cut – The removal of a branch at its point of origin or cutting back a branch to a lateral branch about 1/3 the diameter of the branch being removed. Advantages – No stub is left, the plant retains its natural shape, and vigorous new shoot growth is avoided. Caution: removing more than about 30% of the foliage can stimulate new growth even if thinning cuts are used.
Using thinning cuts on selected branches to improve light and air penetration to interior foliage