Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring means it's time to start pruning

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A gardening newsletter featuring Ask & Share and our friends at HGTV Gardens


  • March Ask & Share Highlights
  • How to Prune Shrubs
  • Choosing the Right Pruning Tools
  • Tips on Pruning Timing and Techniques
  • Tips & Tricks

  • By early spring we're all itching to get outside in the garden for some green thumb time. While it may still be too early for digging and planting in many parts of the country, it's not too soon to start in on pruning chores. So check out our tips on pruning tools, timing and techniques in this month's newsletter. Then sharpen those pruners and get out in the garden!

    Ask & Share Community Highlights

    Jemer asked:
    I pruned my hydrangea tree, and it's not blooming yet. Did I ruin the tree for good?

    NGA answered:
    Hydrangeas pruned to a tree form are usually panicle hydrangeas (H. paniculata). This type of hydrangea sets flower buds and blooms on wood that grows in the current season, so the time to prune so as not to remove flower buds is in early spring, before new growth begins. If you pruned later, don't worry ... MORE

    Anonymous asked:
    When will I need to prune my persimmon tree?

    NGA answered:
    If you are just starting out with a young tree, you'll want to prune it to help it develop a strong central leader and well-placed scaffold branches. A mild day in late winter while the tree is still dormant is a good time for pruning. Once the framework of the tree is in place, a persimmon needs little pruning other than removing dead or diseased branches and suckers. ... MORE

    Choosing the Right Pruning Tools

    I love garden tools. When I have the right tool in my hand I feel like I can do anything. Without the right tool, working in the garden is a struggle. Back when I took my first horticulture class my teacher stressed the importance of careful tool choice and I thought he was nuts. Surely a pruner is a pruner? Not so. There is a wide variety of pruning tools for different kinds of pruning work, and choosing the right one makes all the difference in the world, for both you and your plants. Here's what you need to know.

    Read the full article

    From our friends at HGTV Gardens
    How to Prune Shrubs

    The best time to prune deciduous climbers and shrubs depends on whether they bloom on growth produced in the same or previous years. Generally, those that flower after midsummer are pruned hard in spring. Those that bloom in winter, spring and early summer are pruned soon after flowering.

    Read the full article from HGTV Gardens

    Tips on Pruning Timing and Techniques
    Early spring is a great time to prune many trees and shrubs. Start by making sure your pruning tools are nice and sharp. Then check out the following pruning tips for successful snipping this spring.

    Read the full article

     NGA's Tips &Tricks
    Prune Winter-Damaged Evergreens

    Evergreens like arborvitae, boxwood, rhododendron and yew are especially vulnerable to broken branches over the winter because their foliage catches the snow, weighing them down. When pruning out broken or winter-killed branches, try to cut back to the next lower branch junction within the plant to avoid leaving an unsightly stub. Junipers, arborvitae, false cypress, hemlocks, pines, spruces and firs don't have live buds on old wood, meaning cuts made back into leafless portions of a stem won't resprout. If a branch of one of these evergreens is broken back into a leafless section, it's best to remove the entire branch.
    Train Young Trees

    Encourage young trees to develop strong branch angles on their major limbs and symmetrical branch placement that keeps the center of gravity over the trunk. Narrow branch angles are inherently weak and more apt to break off in strong winds or under a load of snow and ice. When you are selecting trees at the nursery, look for ones with their main branches attached at wide angles (think 10:00 or 2:00) and symmetrically placed around the trunk. Prune judiciously to encourage this branching habit as the tree grows.

    Use 3 Cuts to Remove Large Branches

    When you're pruning out a branch larger than a couple of inches in diameter, keep it from breaking off prematurely and ripping the bark below by use a three-cut system. Make the first cut upward from the branch underside about a third of the way through the branch you're removing. Make this cut several inches out from the trunk (or lower branch). Next, make a second cut down from the top completely through the branch a few inches farther out on the branch from the first cut. This will allow the branch to fall without harming the tree. Finish by removing the stub just outside the branch collar.

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