Pruning with Sara-Evelyn of Broadfork Permaculture

  • Post published:03/22/2022
  • Post comments:8 Comments
Sara-Evelyn Lane with Loppers

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.

Sara-Evelyn with her little saw

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.

Sara-Evelyn using long lopper

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.

Sara-Evelyn with Henry

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.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. joriejo

    Thanks for reminding me that we should be pruning!!!

  2. Con Trowbridge

    I will be looking at my small shrubs/ trees with more discerning eyes! Thanks!

  3. Kathryn O Galbraith

    Pat, I always enjoy your columns & learn something I didn’t know I needed to know! Kathryn G.

  4. Pat

    Kathryn – We got quite a handful of lessons with Sara-Evelyn! We are looking forward to another session in June.

  5. Pat

    Con – Like you, I will look at my shrubs and trees in a new way. Lucky us!

  6. Pat

    Joriejo – I was glad to be reminded of pruning seasons myself!

  7. Beth@PlantPostings

    So this is a good time to prune Redbuds? I would have thought after the spring blooming. We really need to trim ours more than we have in recent years. Such beautiful trees with beautiful blooms and foliage!

  8. Pat

    Beth – Sara-Evelyn told us that you should prune our Redbud now in the early spring so that the tree will have lots of strength. This is especially important for young plants/trees. However, if you have an older tree that needs thinning that should be done in June so the branches that have been removed will not grow back again. I have two (red, and green) dogwoods that have been growing for 5 years and they need 25% trimmed off every summer to maintain color and shape. She is coming back in June to do that – and teach us.

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