I bought my first pruning book before I ever owned a woody plant. I was taking aesthetic pruning classes at Merritt College in Oakland and being the quintessential book hoarder I bought two used books immediately. They sit nicely on my shelf with the other five pruning books I now own. A few years ago I looked up how to prune raspberries. Sometimes I look at the espalier techniques and wonder why I don’t do more espalier pruning. Sometimes I refresh my knowledge about meristematic cells (Tissue in most plants containing undifferentiated cells, found in zones of the plant where growth can take place. Wikipedia) or auxin (A class of plant growth substance, often called phytohormone that plays an essential role in the coordination of many growth and behavioral processes. The Miracle of Trees by Olavi Huikari). These two are not always found in pruning books even though they should be in every single one. Pest and diseases are constantly on my mind and I am very excited about all the new ongoing research about soil. But for the most part, my books wait patiently on the shelf. Ok, sometimes in a pile on a table.
My books are a valuable resource, but the verbal and hands-on education I have received about pruning is what sticks with me the most. I admit, its how I learn the best but there is also something about pruning that lends itself to in-person translation.
By now you know this post is about encouraging you to sign up for my class on the 27th. Not only is this class about setting a foundation for pruning woody plants, it is an introduction to problem solving techniques adapted to pruning. These are techniques you will be able to use on your own plants, in the context of your garden or any garden you may work in. I will see you there!