Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pruning resources in the Sterling Morton Library

This time of the year, a Midwestern gardener might feel caught between two worlds. The sublime and the very snowy, real world! Nursery catalogs and gardening publications present a bounty of images featuring new plants along with lots of tantalizing designs for the garden. Looking out the window at our recent snowfall, a gardener might feel that spring will never arrive!
A few days ago when we had some slightly milder temperatures, I was able to head outside and spend a few hours pruning in the garden. Late winter is a great time to prune certain plants. Without foliage, tree and shrub structure is easier to view. Reduction of disease transmission and more time for callusing over the pruned site are two reasons to consider late winter/early spring pruning. Plus, when spring finally arrives with all of its distractions, much of the pruning can already be finished. It is always a good idea to check when it is appropriate to prune the plant in question. Depending on when a plant flowers, it might be more appropriate to prune at a different time of the year.

As you prepare to sharpen your shears and file your Felcos, these are some resources in the Sterling Morton Library that will educate and inspire:
  • American Horticultural Society pruning and training, 1996.
  • Brown, George Ernest. The pruning of trees, shrubs, and conifers, c2004.
  • Cutler, Karan Davis. Pruning trees, shrubs & vines, c2003.
  • Gilman, Edward F. An illustrated guide to pruning, c2002.
  • Hedge rejuvenation in Garden, December 2007, v. 132, #12, p. 831.
  • Hill, Lewis. Pruning made easy, 1998.
  • Hoyland, John. Time to chop and change in Gardens Illustrated, September 2007, #128, p. 72-75.
  • Kujawski, Ron. Notes on pruning needled evergreens in National Gardener, Fall 2007, v. 78, #4, p. 43.
  • Squire, David. Pruning basics, c2001.
  • Three ways to prune in Fine Gardening, March/April 2008, #120, p. 52-53.

Leaflets from the Arboretum’s Plant Clinic
Pruning trees

Pruning deciduous shrubs
Pruning evergreens

Be sure to check out some of the Horticulture classes offered through the Arboretum’s Education Program.

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