Andy Pleninger and Chris Luley, fellow ReLeaf volunteers, former Council Board members and owners of Urban Forestry, LLC, have published “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 literally “guide” you through the pruning process using a step-by-step approach. The authors provide the right amount of technical information necessary to grasp the art of pruning without overwhelming the reader. They then created a pruning method that is easy to learn and most importantly provide a sequence that is easy to remember.
The ABCs acronym is a very appropriate title for the book. Their prioritized method is simple:
A – Assess the tree
A – Apical dominance pruning (prune for a central stem)
B – Bad branches (dead, diseased, defective)
C – Competing branches
D – Dose (amount to prune)
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 in the future based on the pruning cuts you do now. 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 pruning shears.
The book contains five sections. The first section “sets the stage” for the guide. The second section focuses on proper pruning tools. It also provides clear diagrams and photos that illustrate different types of cuts. The third section teaches the principles of the ABCs. The fourth section provides important pruning 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.
Whether you are a municipal tree manager, arborist, landscape professional or homeowner this book has something for everyone and will become your go-to bible for training and pruning young and small trees. The book is available for $24.95 through Andy and Chris’ website: https://www.urbanforestryllc.com/default.asp and will soon be available through ISA by clicking here or via TCIA by clicking here.
— This review of “The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning” was written by Stephanie Radin, CCE Dutchess County.