Rick Smith has worked in the landscape industry for 36 years. He is the owner of The Pruning Guru, and is a certified Georgia Nurseryman and a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, both through UGA.

Pruning is important to the health and appearance of our landscapes. Many of us invest in beautiful plants and trees but we are unsure about how to care for them when they begin take off and grow. Rick is passionate about teaching homeowners and landscape professionals to prune. I am pleased that he agreed to visit my garden to discuss and demonstrate pruning techniques on video for me to share through the GardenZeal blog. Four short videos follow that cover some basic information and techniques.

First Things First – Starting Out Right

In this overview video, Rick reminds us that before we even put a plant in the ground, we must do our research. Pruning problems often arise due to the wrong plant in the wrong place. Consideration of the plant’s growth rate, size, light, shade, and water requirements must be considered. Nice plants are a significant investment, once they are established in a landscape it is important to know the needs of each type of plant, including:

        1. Why to Prune
        2. When to Prune
        3. How to prune

January, February & March – 5 Winter Pruning Examples

In the following video, Rick discusses winter pruning and gives five examples of plants that should and should not be pruned during winter months. He reminds us that, other than removal of crossing and dead branches, Crape Myrtles do not have to be cut back. Rick also talks about different pruning schedules for different types of Hydrangeas and cautions that winter pruning of shrubs that flower in the springtime will eliminate buds and interrupt their blooming cycle.

Taming Hollies

In the following video, Rick demonstrates how to maintain the shape of Hollies and avoid cuts that will actually create work.

Pruning Techniques for Japanese Maples – Detailed Demonstrations

In the following video, Rick discusses and demonstrates basic pruning strategies and ways to direct the growth and shape of Japanese Maples, while pruning for the health of the tree as well. He demonstrates how to remove crossing and dead branches while making cuts that will heal and stimulate growth in the right direction.

It’s great to have these videos for reference but there is so much more to learn.

Meet Rick and Learn More at The Pruning Workshop on March 16, 2019

If you don’t prune all the time, it can seem to be a mystery. I heard Rick speak about pruning during a Georgia Master Gardeners Conference a few years ago. I knew his presentation would interest other homeowners so I helped to organize a Pruning Workshop (open to the Public) at the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning in Duluth, Georgia. Attendees enjoyed Rick’s presentation and the Q&A session before heading out to the Hudgens garden for hands-on pruning and tool sharpening demonstrations. After the workshop several people asked when we would do it again.

Click Here to Register for the March 16, 2019 Pruning Workshop

We’ll repeat the Pruning Workshop at the Hudgens Center for Art & Learning again on March 16th, 2019. Tickets for the 2 hour event are $10.

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