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Susan C. French

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Decidous Tree Pruning Calendar
Deciduous Tree Pruning CalendarLegend:
* = Best time to prune
x = Do not prune except to correct damage, hazards, or structural defects
- = Timing is not critical

  1. Seldom needs pruning - remove multiple leaders, dead and broken branches

  2. Avoid pruning in late winter/early spring due to sap flow (more cosmetic than detrimental)
  3. Avoid pruning from spring through summer due to insect or disease problems
  4. Avoid pruning from October - December due to reduced cold hardiness
  5. Avoid pruning after July because flower buds have set
May 1, 2009 430-460
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Evergreen Tree Pruning Calendar
* = Best time to prune
x = Do not prune except to correct damage, hazards, or structural defects
- = Timing is not critical


  1. Seldom needs pruning - remove multiple leaders, dead and broken branches
  2. Don't prune into old wood having no leaves or needles
  3. Prune during growing season to make more compact or dense
  4. To avoid reducing berry production, don't prune during bloom period
  5. Prune to prevent oak wilt infection
  6. Prune to remove cankers
  7. Flower buds set on previous season (old) wood; winter pruning will reduce spring flowering
May 1, 2009 430-461
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Deciduous Trees

Trees that shed their leaves annually are classified as deciduous. Before getting out your hand pruners, learn some basics about the anatomy, or supporting framework, of a deciduous tree.

The above-ground part of a tree consists of the trunk, scaffold branches, and lateral branches. The leader is the vertical stem at the top of the trunk. Scaffold branches are primary limbs that form a tree's canopy. Secondary branches that emerge from scaffold branches are laterals. Growth comes from buds at the tips of branches (terminal buds), or along branch sides (lateral buds).

May 1, 2009 430-456
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees have leaves that persist year round, and include most conifers and some broad-leaved trees. Evergreen trees generally need less pruning than deciduous trees.

Conifers are distinguished from other plants by their needle or scale-like leaves, and their seed-bearing cones. Because conifers have dominant leaders, young trees rarely require training-type pruning. The leader is the vertical stem at the top of the trunk. If a young tree has two leaders, prune one out to prevent multiple leader development. Selective branch removal is generally unnecessary as evergreens tend to have wide angles of attachment to the trunk.

May 1, 2009 430-457
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Shrubs

Understanding the natural "habit" or shape of shrubs will help you determine how to prune them. All shoots grow outward from their tips. Whenever tips are removed, lower buds are stimulated to grow. Buds are located at nodes, where leaves are attached to twigs and branches. Each node produces from one to three buds, depending on shrub species.

May 1, 2009 430-459
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Shrub Pruning Calendar May 1, 2009 430-462
A Guide to Successful Pruning: Pruning Basics and Tools

Pruning is a regular part of plant maintenance involving the selective removal of specific plant parts. Although shoots and branches are the main targets for removal, roots, flower buds, fruits and seed pods may also be pruned.

Pruning wounds plants, but plants respond differently to wounding than do animals. In plants, damaged areas are covered by callus tissue to close wounds. Simply put: animal wounds heal, plant wounds seal.

May 1, 2009 430-455
A Guide to Successful Pruning: Stop Topping Trees!

Topping occurs when the vertical stem (leader) and upper primary limbs (scaffold branches) on mature trees are cut back to stubs at uniform height. Topping is also referred to as heading, stubbing, or dehorning.

May 1, 2009 430-458
Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines Mar 3, 2015 430-295 (HORT-106P)
Trees and Shrubs for Overhead Utility Easements

Trees are valuable assets in commercial, private, and public landscapes. Trees add aesthetic beauty, modify and enhance the environment, serve architectural and engineering functions, and increase property and community economic values. These same trees that enhance landscapes, however, are a major challenge for utility companies. Most people have grown accustomed to reliable, uninterrupted electric, telephone and cable service in their homes and offices. Unfortunately, trees are one of the major causes of power outages in areas of overhead utility lines due to direct tree contact with lines, or to trees or tree limbs falling on the lines.

May 1, 2009 430-029
Trees and Shrubs that Tolerate Saline Soils and Salt Spray Drift

Concentrated sodium (Na), a component of salt, can damage plant tissue whether it contacts above or below ground parts. High salinity can reduce plant growth and may even cause plant death. Care should be taken to avoid excessive salt accumulation from any source on tree and shrub roots, leaves or stems. Sites with saline (salty) soils, and those that are exposed to coastal salt spray or paving de-icing materials, present challenges to landscapers and homeowners.

May 1, 2009 430-031
Urban Water-Quality Management - What Is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a lake, river, wetland, or other waterway. When precipitation occurs, water travels over forest, agricultural, or urban/suburban land areas before entering a waterway. Water can also travel into underground aquifers on its way to larger bodies of water. Together, land and water make up a watershed system.

May 1, 2009 426-041
Urban Water-Quality Management - Winterizing the Water Garden

Water gardens require maintenance throughout the year. Preparation for the winter months is especially important for the survival of both the aquatic plants and the wildlife in and around the pond. Some plants will not tolerate winter weather and must be removed from the pond while cold-hardy plants need only to be completely immersed in the pond. Debris such as leaves and dying plants must be removed, especially if there are fi sh in the pond. Fall is the time to take action. Prepare the pond for the winter months by managing the plants, cleaning the pond, and monitoring the water conditions. If treated properly, many aquatic plants and wildlife can survive in the water garden for years.

May 1, 2009 426-042
Urban Water-Quality Management: Purchasing Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants are essential for a healthy and environmentally balanced water garden. Whether you are installing a new water feature or renovating an existing one, proper plant selection is critical. Plants compliment water features, soften hard edges, and add color, texture, and form. They also provide shelter and food for fish and other aquatic wildlife. The following steps will help you select and purchase aquatic plants.

May 1, 2009 426-044
Urban Water-Quality Management: Rain Garden Plants

A rain garden is a landscaped area specially designed to collect rainfall and storm-water runoff. The plants and soil in the rain garden clean pollutants from the water as it seeps into the ground and evaporates back into the atmosphere. For a rain garden to work, plants must be selected, installed, and maintained properly.

May 1, 2009 426-043
Urban Water-Quality Management: Wildlife in the Home Pond Garden

Small home pond gardens support aquatic plants and also attract a variety of wildlife. Turtles, frogs, birds, snakes, lizards, and raccoons as well as many other animals may use these ponds. Most wildlife needs water to survive and will seek out ponds for drinking, bathing, habitat, and in some cases, reproduction.

May 1, 2009 426-045
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Alternative Ground Cover
Ground covers are low-growing plants that prevent weed establishment and act as a living mulch. Desirable ground covers compete minimally for nutrients, light, water or space. They require minimal maintenance and return organic matter and nutrients to the soil (Figure 1).

Three factors help determine whether changing an existing ground cover is justified. Ask yourself these questions:

May 1, 2009 430-466
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Holly Pollination and Honey Bees
Most hollies, whether deciduous or evergreen, require a male plant as a pollinator to insure fruit set. Though some hollies will set fruit in the absence of a male, the resulting berries will have sterile seeds.

English holly (Ilex aquifolium), American holly (I. opaca) and winterberry (I. verticillata) are holly species having male and female flowers borne on separate plants (dioecious). Female plants produce flowers without viable pollen, therefore, they are dependent upon male plants for pollination.

May 1, 2009 430-468
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Orchard Layout and Planting

If you decide to grow either evergreen or deciduous hollies and have selected a location, plan the physical layout of your orchard. After designing the layout and prior to purchasing plants, prepare your land by plowing/disking, incorporating recommended fertilizers, applying herbicides and/or establishing an alternative ground cover.

May 1, 2009 430-467
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Pest Management
Insects, diseases, animals and environmental conditions can all injure holly plants. Monitor your plants frequently, and when signs or symptoms appear, use a systematic approach to diagnosing plant disorders.

Chewing Insects

Holly leaf miners are chewing insects that feed on hollies, preferably American hollies. The larvae are small, yellow maggots that tunnel between upper and lower leaf surfaces. Their feeding creates light-colored, scribble-like patterns on affected leaves. Unsightly mines result in aesthetic damage
May 1, 2009 430-469
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Planning and Site Selection
There is no substitute for careful planning when dealing with a long-term crop such as cut holly. While evergreen hollies mature in ten to twelve years, deciduous hollies take only three to four years before producing berries. Initial plant size, plus cultural practices, will determine berry production time.

Consider many factors before deciding whether to grow cut holly. If you are willing to invest in land, equipment and labor for a crop that will take several years before harvest, ask yourself the following questions. Are you willing or able to:

May 1, 2009 430-465
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Pruning, Harvesting and Marketing
Brilliant red berries make evergreen and deciduous hollies desirable as Christmas greenery. Cut holly berries and evergreen leaves are cold tolerant and retain much of their shape and color even when partially dry.

Holly cultivars vary as to the age at which the first berried branches (sprays) will be ready to harvest. On average, evergreen hollies mature in ten to twelve years while deciduous hollies take only three to four years before producing berried sprays for harvest.

May 1, 2009 430-470
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Vegetation Control

Control of grass, weeds, and brush is an important cultural practice. Before planting a holly orchard, develop a weed control strategy that will ensure good plant growth at a minimal cost. Reasons for vegetation control include:

  • reduction of competition (for light, moisture, nutrients, and space) that may hinder holly growth
  • reduction of insect and disease damage
  • reduction of interference with equipment and labor movement
  • prevention of accidental damage to young trees
  • reduction of damage by animals (deer, voles, etc.)
  • improvement of orchard appearance for marketing purposes
May 1, 2009 430-471