Lately I have been pruning both my dwarf Japanese Maple tree and two Knockout rose bushes. Both plants can grow vigorously, so I like to prune them in February or March. It is definitely time now because the leaf buds are opening more with each day.
Of course my goal is to give the plants a trim, not cut too much. This is a careful, thoughtful process for me. I have to focus intently to first see an overview of the entire plant, then find areas to trim to make it look better.
The danger is trimming too much, leaving an overcut, unattractive plant.
The dwarf Japanese Maple is a beauty with its short trunk and curving branches. It has a dramatic look that is striking. Cut too much and the look is ruined. So I study the plant, noticing where individual branches start. Do I cut the entire branch or just smaller branches coming off the main branch? This question applies to both the rose and the maple. Also I try to do a clean cut, not a jagged one.
I focus as I observe the plant slowly. I take my time. After an initial round of pruning, I will return a few days later and do more, if needed. It is good to pause in this work and reflect. I feel that this deliberate focus on the plant, concentrating on its well-being, is a good spiritual practice for me.