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pruning

pruning, the horticultural practice of cutting away an unwanted, unnecessary, or undesirable plant part, used most often on trees, shrubs, hedges, and woody vines. Man uses pruning to remove diseased or injured parts of the plant (see tree surgery), to influence vertical or lateral growth for various reasons, and to increase flowering or fruit yield. Top pruning, or topping, induces lateral growth, and in fruit trees not only produces a more easily accessible shape but also diverts the expenditure of nourishment from the formation of useless wood to that of buds and fruit. In transplanting, the aerial parts of the plant are pruned to balance the amount of root destruction, so that the transpiration area is reduced and the roots have a chance to concentrate their activity on establishing contact with the soil. Judicious pruning of garden perennials helps to maintain plant vigor and prolongs blooming. In topiary work shrubs and trees are pruned to form decorative shapes. As in other horticultural practices, the type of pruning and its timing vary and must be adapted to the specific plant and the conditions of its environment.

See E. P. Christopher, The Pruning Manual (1954); R. L. Hudson, The Pruning Handbook (1973); C. Brickell, Pruning (1979).

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prune

prune1 / proōn/ • n. a plum preserved by drying, having a black, wrinkled appearance. ∎ inf. an unpleasant or disagreeable person: he was a good leader, but a miserable old prune. prune2 • v. [tr.] trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth. ∎  cut away (a branch or stem) in this way: prune back the branches. ∎  reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous or unwanted parts: reduction achieved by working harder or pruning costs. ∎  remove (superfluous or unwanted parts) from something: Elliot deliberately pruned away details. DERIVATIVES: prun·er n.

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prune

prune3 lop superfluous growth from. XV. Early forms prouyne, proine, pruine — OF. proignier, earlier prooignier :- Rom. *prōrotundiāre, f. PRO-1 + *rotundiāre cut round, f. rotundus ROUND.

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prune

prune1 dried fruit of the plum-tree. XIV. — (O)F.:- Rom. *prūna, fem. sg. for L. n. prūna, pl. of prūnum PLUM.

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prune

pruneafternoon, attune, autoimmune, baboon, balloon, bassoon, bestrewn, boon, Boone, bridoon, buffoon, Cameroon, Cancún, cardoon, cartoon, Changchun, cocoon, commune, croon, doubloon, dragoon, dune, festoon, galloon, goon, harpoon, hoon, immune, importune, impugn, Irgun, jejune, June, Kowloon, lagoon, lampoon, loon, macaroon, maroon, monsoon, moon, Muldoon, noon, oppugn, picayune, platoon, poltroon, pontoon, poon, prune, puccoon, raccoon, Rangoon, ratoon, rigadoon, rune, saloon, Saskatoon, Sassoon, Scone, soon, spittoon, spoon, swoon, Troon, tune, tycoon, typhoon, Walloon •fortune, misfortune •vodun • veldskoen • honeymoon •forenoon • tablespoon • teaspoon •soupspoon • dessertspoon • Neptune •tribune • triune • opportune

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prune

prune, popular name for a dried plum. Fruits of the many varieties of Prunus domestica, which are firm-fleshed and dry easily without removal of the stone, are gathered after falling from the tree, dipped in lye solution to prevent fermentation, dried in the sun or in kilns, and then "glossed" with a steam, glycerin, or fruit-juice bath to produce a sterile, glossy skin. Most of the commercial product comes from the Pacific coast states. A type of prune was used by Native Americans as a staple item of diet.

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prune

prune2 trim (feathers) with the beak. XIV. ME. pru(y)ne, also proyne — pres. stem poroign — OF. poroindre, f. por- (mod. pour-; :— L. PRO-1) + oindre (:— L. ungere anoint).

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