Lesson 7: Pruning

  1. Learning objectives
    1. Identify three reasons to prune along with appropriate techniques to achieve each desired effect
    2. Identify proper techniques and seasons for pruning lilac, manzanitas, and sages
    3. Identify the basics of proper tool hygiene
  2. Homework review
    1. Review different responses to client email
    2. Discuss discrepancies that may occur or that you noted: insects, disease, etc., and note IPM strategies to regain garden/plant health.
  3. Discussion: Reasons, seasons, and ways to prune
  4. In-class exercises: Matching plants with the appropriate pruning techniques | Corrective pruning diagnosis
  5. Discussion: Pruning hygiene and tools
    1. Be sure to sanitize pruners in between gardens, and even within gardens if you are pruning diseased material.
  6. Discussion: Fee-based pruning care
  7. Resources
    1. Book: O’Brien, Bart, Betsy Landis, and Ellen Mackey. 2006. Care & Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens / Cuidado y mantenimiento de jardines de plantas nativas del sure de California. Pages/páginas: viii, 238. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles. Out of print; look for it in the library.
    2. Book: Bornstein, Carol, David Fross, and Bart O’Brien. 2005. California Native Plants for the Garden. Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, CA. Chapter 4: Native Plant Care
    3. Download: CA Native Plant Maintenance Data Sheet
  8. Key figures, graphs, and concepts
    1. See Handout: CA Native Plant Maintenance Data Sheet by species
    2. Reasons to Prune
      1. Rejuvenation – stimulate new growth; remove unproductive, often woody growth
      2. Aesthetics – remove dead, damaged, unsightly, or faded parts; redirect growth, including shaping (e.g. into a hedge, small tree, or to expose an attractive feature)
      3. Plant health – remove diseased or infested parts, improve air circulation, remove crossed branches, compensate for overplanting, mitigate damage from animals or storms, remove mistletoe
  9. 1.    Homework
    “Pruning calendar” – Fill out the calendar provided using the following 10 species as the species composition for the garden you are maintaining. Each species should populate the calendar at least once. Send your calendar to your instructor via email. (Pruning Calendar can be found in the Materials section of this lesson.) 

    a.    White sage (Salvia apiana)

    b.    Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

    c.     Frosty Blue CA lilac (Ceanothus ‘Frosty Blue’)

    d.    Tidy tips (Layia platyglossa)

    e.    Palmer’s mallow (Abutilon palmeri)

    f.      Alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoidies)

    g.    Purple needle grass (Stipa pulchra)

    h.    Bush sunflower (Encelia californica)

    i.      Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia)

    j.      Mugwort (Artemisia douglasiana)

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