On deck to be clipped

enlarge this image

High on our summer pruning list: Japanese maples* that cannot be allowed to reach full size and spruces that overhang. *(See note at the bottom of the page!) 

Learn how here!

In the last weeks of summer the time's right so we do a great deal of pruning. To help you clip as freely, we have invited readers to come watch or learn by doing; we also  report here on what we've done.

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Here are some of our upcoming subjects.

If some here are on your "How do I prune that?" list,
• Come clip with us, or
• Watch this space where we will post the story as we cut each one.

  • Arborvitae: To restrict size
  • Arctic blue willow trained as a tree: To reshape it and reduce its size.
  • Boxwood: To restrict size and enhance shape
  • Climbing hydrangea: To restrict size without loss of bloom
  • Crabapples: Dwarf sargent crab, restrict size and enhance character
  • Falsecypresses: To restrict size but maintain character                       (Japanese maple note at bottom of page.)
  • Japanese maples: To shape a full sized tree; to restrict a dwarf.CranfJun12N5736s.jpg
  • Juniper: Upright species (right), to restrict size; spreading varieties
    (below, with blue spruce), to restrict size while maintaining character
  • More mugo pines: To reduce the size.
  • Wisteria: To restrict size without loss of bloom
  • Yews: To restrict size while maintaining natural character

If the example you need to answer your pruning question
isn't included, email us and let us know what plant you'd like
added to the line-up.


WpgLarcWlkwyN7150S.jpgRight: Whether a plant needs pruning at all is a matter of its type and situation. A weeping larch out in the middle of a yard might never need pruning. This one that's limited to a narrow bed and in one-sided light will grow too wide and unevenly. It will need regular pruning.

Below: How much to prune depends on a plant's growth rate and how often you want to prune. We like to prune large plants only every other year or every third year. At an especially plant-rich hands-on session this summer we'll work on the dwarf white pine, spreading juniper and Hinoki falsecypress shown here, and also consider the blue spruce. The overall photo on the left shows them as they were three years ago. On the right are current photos.


 Below: Many dwarf conifers are on our summer pruning list. Birdsnest spruces (Picea abies varieties) are among those that seem to have forgotten to read their catalog description



*Below: NOT being clipped this summer are plants badly hurt early in the year. This year Japanese maples hurt in the hard freezes in spring are prime examples. Even if this is their year to be pruned in the normal rotation, we give them a "bye." So if your Japanese maple has a see-through canopy with this much damaged and missing foliage, take it off your pruning hit list. Allow such plants to keep every leaf, so they receive every molecule of starch and every minute of photosynthesis those leaves can provide.



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