Despite wishing it were not so, winter persists. Overnights have been in the single digits (negatives with wind chill) and the days in the teens. We’ve had a week of snow, sleet and freezing rain with 6-10 inches of snow expected to arrive tomorrow into Monday. The usual February weather. So, to keep my spirits up, I continue my garden-related reading and video watching.
Since March is my month for pruning the fruit trees and any non-spring blooming shrubs, I decided to brush up on my pruning techniques. It’s not a task at which I’ve ever felt completely adept, despite have several excellent organic orchard books. I’ve been on the look out for a book that simplified – or dumbed down, if you will – the process for me; a process which, unfortunately, varies depending on what it is you are pruning.
Last weekend I was re-reading one of my favorite Tasha Tudor books for the umpteenth time, when I picked up on a pruning book she highly recommended by Lewis Hill. Searching on Amazon, I found The Pruning Answer Book (2011) by Lewis Hill and Penelope O’Sullivan.
No exaggeration, this book is a god-send! It is clearly and concisely written, answers the most basic of questions, and is illustrated in an extremely helpful manner. The book contains chapters on right and wrong pruning practices; and pruning everything from deciduous shade trees, ornamental trees, flowering shrubs, hedges, evergreens, woody vines, fruit trees, bush fruit/brambles, nut trees and even topiary, if you’re into it (I’m not). It’s even printed in a compact size to make carrying it around with you outside feasible. I’m so excited to head out into the orchard and garden this March, book in hand, to tackle this season’s pruning with a greater degree of confidence!