Learn to cut boldly

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Have a yew that's too chubby for its own good? Want to know how far you can go in clipping it? (See below!) Have other pruning questions? You're in the right place. Send us an email about the plants you want to learn to prune. Include photos if you have them. Consider coming to one of our free hands-on pruning workshops (See our calendar in About Us: Where we're appearing.) Or just watch here where we will post the play by play from those workshops. 

How do I prune _____?

That sits right at the top of our list of frequently asked questions. So we bet you face at least one of the situations listed or pictured here:

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• A weeper or a spreader that's creeping over a walkway
• A dwarf that is outgrowing your expectations
• A specimen you want to keep beautifully shaped
• A plant whose shape you want to change or reclaim
• A plant that's gotten out of hand and has to be reduced in size.

We're entering prime pruning season right now so we will be out in the field tending our gardens, giving free lessons, and posting illustrated reports here. For instance, thus far:

Mugo pine,
Pyramidal yews,
Restriction pruning steps applied to a yew hedge,
• a topiary...
• and quite a variety of others "on deck."

If you have a plant you want to know how to prune, now is the time to drop us a line, send us a photo, join us in the field, or do all three!

Below: Gasp! It's the "after" to the photo at top right. No, it's not cut too drastically and yes it will come back fully. (Click to look at that cut's play by play.)


Your presentation on pruning conifers
...changed my whole outlook on conifers
-- as in, prune rather than move!
John Amdall, American Conifer Society


  Many times we have less change to make or can
  follow a more gradual pruning timeline. Then,
  cuts are less drastic, or look that way even if they
  remove a lot of the plant.

  Below: Here we cut plenty but the effect is
  deceptive. We were glad we left our wheelbarrow
  full of clippings in the second photo so we could
  identify it as our "after" image.

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Below, left: Spreading junipers are frequent candidates for pruning. In this case, it's not simply the nature of the juniper that's caused it to overreach its bed. It's being pushed by the spruce behind it. Both juniper and spruce can be pruned, late summer is an excellent time to do it, and so these two are on our upcoming hit list. Be sure to check that list to see if the plant you have questions about pruning is there. Email us if you want a plant added to that list!
Below, right: A weeping blue cedrus is also likely to encroach on a walkway, albeit from a higher plane. It also tends to have a higher price tag than a juniper, another source of anxiety when it's time to prune.

JunipSqzd8737s.jpg RWNCedrusGBJN6979s.jpg

Send us your pruning questions, or come join us in the field to learn hands on. (More about the free workshops called Garden by Janet & Steven, and a calendar of where we're appearing.)


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