Live wood dang rabbits

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Most woody plants have plump, moist buds... unless the branch is dead! Above, a maple twig with its buds enlarging in spring - soaking up water and resuming growth. Those who prune must learn to distinguish live wood from dead, even when all is leafless. 

Green thumbs up

to distinguishing live wood from dead during the dormant season. An essential pruning skill, it may seem unknowable when there are no leaves. Yet once you learn to look for buds, it's a snap. Check if buds are plumped with moisture or wasted, dry things.


Green thumbs down

to the rabbits that get squirrels in trouble. (Believe it or not, D.G., there appear to be some squirrels that don't bother a guy's new trees. Instead they sit watching, and tittering, as rabbits ruin the new plantings. Yet B.C. took a while to catch on, and cursed the squirrels until catching the rabbits in the act.)


Below: A gardener can love the wild things but also need to keep them away from some plants. Ingenious solution to rabbit trouble, B.C.! Have a rabbit-proofing tip?