A Gardener’s Guide a Richard Bird Anness Publishing – Book Review

Pruning is a topic of interest to all tree lovers and here is an excerpt from an awesome book about pruning which talks about different techniques, principles and much more interesting topics about pruning.


Pruning is one of those Garden jobs that you can ignore if you wish. However, this approach will only succeed for a while, because eventually the pruning work will accumulate, and it will be a huge task to sort everything out. Garden nurse neglect of pruning is not so much to dislike or boredom as with meeting, for example, but has more to do with the fear of the unknown. Pruning is often perceived as one of the Black Arts of gardening, let’s kill that some possess, while others do not.

   Of course, as with all matters connected with gardening, it is simply a matter of experience. Sitting and thinking about pruning will not improve your Technique but getting out there and doing it well. We all make mistakes at first, but nature is very forgiving, and it is not often that you kill a tree or a shrub by making pruning mistakes, especially as most gardeners err on the side of caution when they first set out.

  In this book, we aim to provide the basic techniques that will give you the confidence to pick up your Secateurs And make a start. You will not need all the information in the book because it is doubtful whether you grow everything we cover, but it should act as a guide through many as a season and many a change in your garden. About all, it is important to have a go and see how your garden improves.

The principles of pruning and training

Pruning is one of those jobs that most gardeners either hate or are frightened of – Or Both! The fear is partly because While most Garden operation seems to be common sense, cutting back a shrub or tree seems to be a drastic thing to do, which we leave disastrous evidence for everyone to see if something goes wrong. It is a bit like giving someone a haircut – You would rather leave it to the professionals. The other job that is also constructed, propagation, is not a problem, because if the seeds do not come up or the cuttings fail, who is to know? Yes, pruning is definitely a tricky thing to attempt. Or is it?

 Not a magic Art

Shrubs and trees have grown for thousands of years in gardens. People have been pruning them for all that time without causing their demise. In fact, pruning, like any other Garden technique, as a logic Behind it and with experience most Corner soon learn to prune their plants without a second thought. Most of us have a limited range of plants in the garden so it is not as if You have to remember how to prune every plant that is available, just your own collection. Pruning is definitely not a magic art; everyone can soon learn to do it.

In the wild

In nature, of course, no one prunes plants. Horses made browse them and trim them tightly back branches Die and fall off, and occasionally lightning or wind lops off a branch Or even fells a whole tree, yet nearly all manage to recover, And many plants simply grow on for years undisturbed – Hundreds of years The case of some trees – And seemed to flourish magnificently with no intervention from anyone.

So why prune?

If plants do not get much pruning in the natural world, why do they need it in gardens? There are several good reasons why we should prune, especially if you remember that we are growing plants in artificial conditions and that we want them to perform at the very best. Of course, You need not prune them at all if you do not want to. Many gardeners do not prune, but you may not get the best out of your plants. Having said that, there are many trees and shrubs that do not need any regular pruning. One of the attractions of conifers, for example, is that most require no attention at all. However, there is no doubt that if you do prune, many of your trees and shrubs will look better for it. They will be shapely and productive and will not have any dead or damaged wood to spoil their beauty.

There are four main reasons for pruning. If carried out every year, the amount of work involved is often minimal and the results will greatly outweigh the effort.

Flower production

One of the main reasons for pruning is to increase the productivity of your plants. Most shrubs will produce more flowers if they are regularly pruned. Rose bushes, for example, will gross straggly It’s left to their own devices, with their flower power diminishing with every year that they are left unpruned. However, if they are regularly pruned so that they produce new growth, and trained so that they produce more flower buds, they will flower prolifically for many years. some shrubs, such as Chaenomeles, will produce a lot more flowers if they are tightly pruned, while others, for example, Ceanothus do not respond well to hard pruning. Evergreen shrubs such as Camellia and Osmanthus only require pruning to keep the bushy shape.

Plant health

I lied to the above how is the question of plant health. One of the first tasks when pruning is to remove all the dead and diseased would. This helps keep the plant in Tip-Top condition and hence performing well. The very Act of pruning involves looking closely to the plant, so you are likely to be much more aware of any problems. You can then take avoiding action by cutting out the disease depart. Pruning plants also prevent the branches from becoming overcrowded so that more air and light can enter, again helping to maintain a healthy plant. With shrubs, in particular, it is often good practice to remove some old growth each year so that new, healthy shoots are produced, constantly rejuvenating the plant.

Improved shape

The shape of some plants, such as conifers, needs little Improvement. However, there are many that benefit from being shaped: even coniferous Do not need this type of intense attention but many – hollies And Cherry Laurel, for example – benefit from occasional shaping.


Plants have a tendency to do their own thing which may not be what The Gardener want. The soil may be richer than the plant would experience in the wild and the competition from other plants is likely to be less, so some plants go mad and ramp away. To prevent them from swamping other plants or upsetting their carefully planned display, they need to be cut back. Some plants increase by running below ground and producing suckers and these will need to be removed regularly before and miniature Forest develops. share can also be a problem, and many shrubs that have outgrown their space will need cutting back to stop them overshadowing sun-loving plants. Many climbers have a tendency to rush up a wall and enter the gutters or Eaves, and these also need controlling.

Pruning Trees, Shrubs and Climbers, Hedges, Roses, Flowers, and Topiary: A Gardener’s Guide to Cutting, Trimming and Training, with Over 650 Photographs and Illustrations, and Practical, Easy-to-Follow Advice: Richard Bird Anness Publishing, 2006 – Gardening – 160 pages

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