It’s that time again! Late winter to early spring is pretty much the best time to prune trees and woody shrubs. I’ve already tackled some overgrown viburnums, but the crazy weather in Chicago prevented me from finishing up the redtwig dogwoods and getting to a very, very sad (i.e., half-dead) honeysuckle.
Though I’ve taken a few classes and read MANY books on pruning, I still found a lot of good advice in Pruning Simplified. It briefly covers common pruning techniques and tools, but the bulk of its content focuses on individual plants, specifically over 50 of the most widely used garden plants—from butterfly bush to crab apple, lilac to yews, and the list goes on.
Each plant is listed alphabetically by its botanical name and given a two-page write-up that includes a picture, pruning tips, guidelines for when to prune and which tools to use, and step-by-step advice for different pruning “intensities.” It gives just the right amount of information without overwhelming the reader, and the how-to pictures are perfect! Very clear and helpful.
There’s also a Special Features section in the back that covers more specific pruning tasks—like hedges, ground covers, conifers, etc.—and a very short spreadsheet that lists ideal pruning times for each plant.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. It has been an invaluable guide for me this winter, and I know I will reference it again and again.
Many thanks to Steven Bradley, Timber Press, and Net Galley for the ARC. I loved the book so much, I went out and bought it. 🙂