Prudent Pruning

Prudent Pruning

I’ve been studying the seminar schedule again, won’t be the last time between now and when I get to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. There are just so many great options, and only one of me.

PruningGiven the season, pruning has been on my mind. In the course of checking out the offerings, I noticed a pruning seminar, “Extreme Makeover for Rhodies,” that’ll be offered by Cass Turnbull. So I took to cruising the web, as I am wont to do, to see if I could find out more about Turnbull. In pretty short order, I found myself on the Plant Amnesty websitePlant Amnesty Logo what a treasure trove this site is! This non-profit organization is deeply committed to eliminating plant pruning atrocities and has a website packed with tons of great information on proper pruning practices and techniques.

Plant care, especially pruning, can be confusing and frankly a bit nerve-racking at times. It’s the routine gardening task that’s most likely to give a beginning gardener fits. I know that it can be mystifying at first, I’ve been there. Most of us don’t take our reference books out in the field with us, so putting some time into developing a solid understanding of the basic principles before you head out the door with loppers in hand helps you to make good decisions when you’re working in the garden.

Cass Turnbull’s Guide to PruningPlants do behave in predictable ways, and once you have an idea of what they’ll do in response to what you do, that’s when it’ll all start making more sense. An excellent primer on basic pruning principles for the Pacific Northwest can be found on Plant Amnesty’s website. If you happen to be wrangling with old, overgrown rhodies on your property, you won’t want to miss Cass Turnbull’s seminar on this topic at the show. She’ll be presenting Friday, February 22nd at 1:45 pm.

For more great gardening tips, visit Jasmine’s San Francisco Flower & Garden Show blog.

  • robin
    Posted at 09:50h, 05 February Reply

    Every new gardener and even some veterans should be sure to attend this talk or at least become aquainted with the plant amnesty pruning guides available for free on their website. Knowing how plants grow and understanding how they react to the way that you cut them makes an enormous difference.

    With every new garden coaching client I see I spend a good portion of our time together discussing the basics of pruning. I show them bad cuts and the plant reactions to those cuts. I explain good cuts and how plants react to those. We discuss good tools and good tool care. And so much more.

    And, I point everyone of them to the plant amnesty pruning guides often suggesting Cass’s Guide to Pruning as a purchase for further reading.

    Truly, understanding proper pruning is critical to being a strong gardener!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • M. D. Vaden of Oregon
    Posted at 22:19h, 09 July Reply

    The “predictable” nature of growth you mention is one of the primary aspects of pruning.

    Maybe it removes the mystique from pruning to say this, but pruning is much like training or retiring leaders in a corporation. Some are needed for continued expansion. Others going the wrong way may need to be phased out or fired. Shrub and tree care pruning involves short and long-term planning.


    M. D. Vaden

    Beaverton / Portland

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