Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Trees, Shrubs, Roses Are Ripe for Pruning.

Byline: A Garden Journal DONNA REDMAN For the Journal

Correct Procedures Are No Mystery

Right about now, it seems like winter has overstayed its welcome. The weather is starting to get a little warmer, and things are starting to grow. We're not though with winter yet, but I'm struggling with a full-blown case of spring fever.

Now is the time to prune trees and many shrubs. On Monday, I attended a class about pruning taught by Jim Sais and learned some things I didn't know before. Sais is retired from the Extension Service and currently serves as a consultant for Rowland Nurseries in Albuquerque.

Like other professionals involved with growing trees, Sais disdained the practice of "topping" trees, or indiscriminately chopping of the top of a tree to reduce its height. Usually topping condemns the tree to a slow but sure death, and during the years it takes the tree to finally die, it's ugly.

Sometimes people prune simply because they think it's the thing to do.

Sais said you should have a reason to prune. Some of the reasons he listed were: to remove broken, diseased or insect-damaged wood; to remove competing branches, those growing too close together; to improve flowering or fruiting; to maintain size or shape; to remove undesirable growth; and to promote new growth. …

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