Mike Jackson, once again, gave us an excellent, informative talk. Here are some notes that Barbara Barnett made.:
Remove anything Dead, Dying or Diseased
Most pruning is best done after flowering and fruiting, in dormant period. Always cut at a sharp angle to allow rain to run off;
The bud at the end of a branch or shoot suppresses the buds lower down. If it is cut off, the side buds will sprout.
Avoid double leaders (a V shaped main stem), as there is a danger of rot where they are joined. Also in the wind it may spit. Cut off one side completely.
TREES: Between bark and inner wood lies a thin vital layer which is called the CAMBIUM, This is the active living part of the plant. When pruning a tree, choose natural “collar” for the cut rather than close cut to trunk as the diameter is narrower and will heal better.Do not use the stuff that is painted on for covering wound as it seals in bacteria and fungus and does more harm than good..
ROSES: Prune to “wine glass shape” to allow light and air to circulate – remove central branch. One method: bend over branches in loops. This encourages flowering.
WISTERIA : In autumn: flower buds, which are fatter than leaf buds, appear at base of branches, where they meet main stem. Cut the branch back to to 4 to 6 inches – to the flower buds, cutting off the leaf buds. Otherwise these can grow incredibly long in one season, and the leaves will hid the flowers.
APPLE: Fruit buds are fat, leaf buds much smaller. Prune to balance growth. Stand back to consider shape. Remove any vertical branches running off a branch– they don’t bear fruit.
CONIFERS: Be careful not to cut new side growth – can shorten by cutting off top
BIRCH: Never prune these in late winter as the sap is running. It is best done in early autumn.
MYRTLE: Best pruned in spring. If cut back in autumn risk that new growth will be too fragile to withstand winter frost.
Cut off just below buds, remove lower leaves.
Take soft cuttings in spring, semi ripe cuttings in the summer and hard wood cuttings in the autumn.
HARD WOOD CUTTINGS: cut off all soft growth at the top and all of the leaves. Push straight into ground with several buds below the surface and some above. Growth of roots is slow – after some months very carefully loosen earth around them to see if roots are emerging. If so carefully replace!
LAYERING: gently drag a long low branch down so that a loop of it can be buried in the earth; scrape the part that is to be buried and apply rooting powder. Takes some time to grow roots and sprout new growth before it can be separated as a new plant.