Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Pruning

I don't like to prune. I would also like to believe that when I buy a plant, I plan it's eventual size and plant it appropriately.
But what do you do when the size of the plant far out grows what the tag says? You suck it up and prune. Sometimes, where possible, I transplant; but most times it is so large that moving would be a huge endeavor.
So...I prune. I planted an ailing Ceanothus several years ago from work. It should have gotten 12-15 foot tall. This year, as it topped 25 feet, I decided it was time to wrangle it down a notch.
Pruning is both necessary and important. Not only for the shape and control of the plant but also for it's health and vigor. The blooms were weak this year because usually the plant stops traffic as it burst into it's spring time sky blue color. So I knew it was time to work on it.
After cutting it down by half I was thrilled to discover my Kentucky Coffee tree (Gymnocladus) which by the way is suppose to get almost 100 feet tall!!). It was just setting it's small white blooms so I was thrilled to have rediscovered it.
As I toiled away, I realized that pruning is as much a part of gardening as watering. Perhaps it is not always fun but it does do good things to the plant if done properly. Even if done incorrectly, Nature is very forgiving....usually. Plants tend to bounce back quickly.
So, get out there and prune those plants. If you are not sure how too, go to any of your Independent Garden Centers and I know they would love to assist you.
Until next time....Happy Gardening!

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