Sara-Evelyn Lane of Broadfork Permaculture came to prune my young Redbud tree, as well as giving us advice about other plants like my paniculata hydrangeas. We started by spending time talking about the different Redbud branches, some very thin, and others larger – or maybe growing in an unfortunate direction. Sara-Evelyn has a good eye and was a good hand with sharp loppers. She told us that she always wipes down her tools with alcohol before she arrives so that she isn’t bringing any bacteria to the customer’s garden.
We continued listening to her as she worked. We also talked to her about what we wanted, or asked about how she decided branches to cut. She used different tools, loppers, a saw and a TALL cutter as we watched.
She finished with the final little branches. She explained that she didn’t want to trim much more because taking too much from the young tree would make it weak. There is always next year.
My husband Henry and I then took her on a walk through the (very wet) garden to talk about the pruning that some of the shrubs might need. We planted two dogwoods five years ago, yellow twig dogwood, and red twig dogwood. We chose these large shrubs because they are water loving plants. They are thriving but it is time (maybe overtime) for a good pruning. Sara-Evelyn gave us the important information that pruning in the spring will give the branches lots of energy to continue. However, older branches should be pruned in June when the limbs are tired, and they will not come back the following spring.
It is really quite amazing how much pruning these shrubs need. Sara-Evelyn said 25% of the large branches should be cut out every year. In addition, I should not allow branches to touch the ground because they will actually take root. Another pruning opportunity.
The sun is ever higher and Sara-Evelyn has given me a lot of good information that I will be practicing and learning.