Gardener’s Journal: Be Good to trees…

This time of year I am pruning outdoors in earnest. I have always worked with the thought that letting nature alone was a good maxim. But lately I realized that in allowing trees and shrubs alone, I was contributing to their loss. So outside I go with the pruning instruments.

Cutting out all the dead or dying wood branches opens the shrub and tree to light and encourages it to grow new. The additional time spent just cleaning out small sucker branches will give the tree or shrub a lift. I have a tendency to over prune and sometimes don’t know when to quit, so I give myself this little reminder: “shape the tree or branch like an open hand. Leaving space in the middle for air and enough space between large branches so a shape emerges.” And that is when it is a good time to stop for the year. There is always another time to prune and there will be more growth. So have patience in pruning and perseverance in knowing when to stop!

Spring buds are coming…then I must stop as the pruning will affect their new growth. Timing is everything in pruning shrubs, trees and life…

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