City Trees

July/August 2012

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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Page 35 of 39

The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning ... A User-Friendly Entire Alphabet of Great Information! by Stephanie D. Radin, Agriculture/Horticulture Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County and Member of the NYSUCF Board of Directors Andy Pleninger and Chris Luley, owners of Urban Forestry, LLC have published a great new book, The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning. Practically everything from soup to nuts is covered in this clearly illustrated 85-page guide. And "guide" it is! Andy and Chris guide you through the pruning process using a step-by-step approach. The authors sought out to discern exactly how much technical knowledge is really necessary to grasp the art of pruning without being overwhelming. They then created a pruning method that is easy to learn and, most importantly, they provide a sequence that is easy to remember. They also "bust" some tree pruning myths and improper pruning practices. When a young tree is planted, training is important to ensure a long and healthy lifespan. The goal is to "nip in the bud" (pardon the pun) potential future problems. Most pruning references want you to envision what the tree will look like when mak- ing those first pruning decisions. This guide calls for pruning decisions based on the tree in front of you. A person with limited knowledge of pruning will walk away feeling more empowered with their prun- ing shears. The ABCs acronym is a very appropriate title for the book. Their prioritized method is simple: A – Assess the tree Apical dominance pruning (prune for a central stem) B – Bad branches (dead, diseased, defective) C – Competing branches D – Dose (amount to prune) The book contains five sections. The first section sets the stage for the guide. The second section focuses on proper pruning tools to get the job done 36 Andrew G. Pleninger and Christopher J. Luley, Ph.D. VISUAL IDENTIFICATION SERIES TO YOUNG AND SMALL TREE PRUNING THE ABCs FIELD GUIDE right. It also provides clearly illustrated diagrams and photos that illustrate different types of cuts. The third section teaches the principles of the ABCs. The fourth section provides important prun- ing considerations such as when is the best time to prune, how often, to wound-dress or not to wound- dress, and the "don'ts" of tree pruning. The fifth section is titled "Extras" and has great before and after photos. What I truly like most about the book are actual photos with overlays of dotted lines and/or arrows illustrating a step-by-step application. For city for- esters, arborists, landscape professionals and homeowners alike, this book has something for everyone. It will become your go-to bible for training and pruning young and small trees, and, at $24.95, it is a steal! The book is available through Andy and Chris's website: and through ISA's online bookstore. City Trees

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