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By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2010
Question: What's the trick to making pruned shrubs look good? Mine look hacked up and then don't grow the way I want. Answer: Try to work with the plant's natural growth habit. If it wants to cascade, don't try to make it round or square. If its natural inclination is to have multiple trunks, you can make it a single trunk, but it will need continual pruning of new trunks. Shrubs look more natural if you cut back to a larger branch or a bud. The direction a bud or branch is pointing, is the direction new growth will go. Thus you can control the direction of your plant's branch by cutting to a bud that faces the direction you want.
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By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2014
When I trim my shrubs, they seem to go crazy, with new branches growing in all directions. My neighbor's shrubs never do that. They look natural and graceful. How come? Pruning stimulates new growth, but you can control the direction of the growth. When you prune, cut back to just above a leaf bud. The trick is to select a leaf bud that is pointing in whatever direction you want growth to go. A bud pointing away from the plant will go outward from the plant. A bud pointing to the shrub's interior or toward a neighboring branch will get entangled and run into other branches.
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FEATURES
November 24, 1996
I recently bought a house in the city that has a large, neglected apple tree -- more than 20 feet tall. Will I kill it if I prune it back severely? Is this a good time to prune?It may take two to three years to renovate a dense, overgrown tree. If the tree is fairly healthy you can reduce its height by one-third without damaging the tree. Remove weak, diseased and crossing branches along with the large limbs high up in the tree. Be certain that you have the tools and necessary help to handle large branches.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | September 11, 2013
Fractured Prune Doughnuts, the Ocean City phenomenon known for hand-dipped doughnuts made-to-order with a choice of glazes, toppings and sugar, is going national. A new owner plans to spread the concept across the United States and open 50 new franchised stores in the next three years, with about 20 in the Baltimore area. New shops will open by the end of the year at the Inner Harbor and in Towson and Westminster, said CEO Dan Brinton, who bought the company this year from previous owner Sandy Tylor.
FEATURES
By Chicago Tribune | February 15, 1992
Pruning and application of dormant sprays to shrubs and ornamental and fruit trees are timely tasks for home gardeners during the next few weeks.Both are best accomplished when the weather is mild enough to work comfortably outdoors and before warming causes sap to rise.Judicious pruning of woody plants, even if there has been little winter damage, will encourage vigorous growth, promote better health and enhance appearance.Dormant sprays are effective against many pests that spend the winter on stems, branches and in bark crevices.
FEATURES
June 14, 1998
Q.I planted a row of 10 white pines and spruces several years ago and want to begin pruning and training them so they will develop into large, healthy trees. How do I start?A.Start with a pair of sharp hand pruners. Spruces and pines produce new growth ("candles") each spring at the ends of their branches. The candles are compact, elongated and light-green in color. Pruning back the candles halfway will force two new shoots to emerge from the cut. This will cause the trees to fill out more quickly.
FEATURES
June 8, 1997
I am so disappointed that my lilacs didn't bloom this year. They bloomed beautifully last year but were so overgrown that I had to cut them back in the fall. I fertilized them, and I don't see any pest problems.Did my pruning damage these lovely shrubs?Your pruning work didn't damage your lilacs, but it removed the buds that would have produced this year's blooms. Your plants will come back and flower next year, however.Many types of lilacs do require yearly pruning to keep them productive and manageable.
FEATURES
By Marty Hair and Marty Hair,Knight-Ridder News Service | March 13, 1994
Once when I got a new job, I nearly leveled a privet hedge.The job change coincided with a move to a different house, surrounded by untrimmed greenery.At work, I faced challenges, intrigue, competition -- stress city. On my days off, I tried to relax.Soon, the way to do that became clear. I began pruning the poor privets. Every week.A nip here, a slice there with the long-handled trimmers, the manual trimming equipment that required lots of energy and yielded lots of satisfaction.I felt better, but the ever-dwindling row along the driveway started looking scared.
NEWS
January 2, 2000
Q. I have an old, healthy crab apple tree that has become a tangle of branches, many of which are dead or dying. How severely should I prune it to keep it healthy? A. First, prune out all the dead branches. Then remove weak or dying branches, especially those growing across or into the middle of the canopy. If two branches are rubbing, remove the weaker one. Don't simply remove the ends of branches; make your pruning cut back to the next healthy branch or limb. You will probably end up with a lot of wood on the ground, but your tree will live longer as a result.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and David Clement | November 17, 2007
Two weeks ago, I pruned four shrubs (an evergreen, a flowering species, a prickly bush and a green-yellow spotted leaf). Wish I knew the names. I pruned them way back. I'm worried that I may have pruned too much. In general, avoid pruning woody plants from late summer until plants go dormant. Pruning stimulates growth. New growth may not harden before winter and be killed, wasting the plant's energies. Since different shrubs require different pruning regimens, get your plants identified before pruning.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2013
My trees look ratty. Can I prune now before the leaves come out? Should I put that black gunk on the cuts? I've never done this before. March is an excellent time to prune trees. Without leaves, you have a much better view of what needs to be done. Altogether, don't remove more than one-fourth of the tree canopy in one year. First remove dead limbs. Where two branches rub across each other creating an entry wound for disease, remove one of the branches. Young trees need to be trained to one trunk, unless it's a multi-trunk species such as river birch.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2012
My azaleas are so big that they're growing above my kitchen windowsills. I know you're not supposed to prune until after they bloom in spring, but I can't wait that long. Will I ruin these shrubs by pruning now? It's best to wait, because late season pruning can stimulate your shrubs to produce new shoots. This uses up the plants' stored energy and makes it harder for them to prepare for winter survival. Also, the new shoots may not have time to mature and harden for winter, which risks killing them.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2012
Two of my three mophead hydrangeas have no flowers. I pruned all of them to the ground this spring like the nursery told me when I bought my Blushing Bride hydrangea. Now only the Blushing Bride has blooms. Are the other two getting too old to bloom? The nursery was right about how to prune Blushing Bride hydrangea, but it is not like your other mophead hydrangeas. They cannot be pruned the same way. All three are Hydrangea macrophylla, but Blushing Bride is an Endless Summer variety.
NEWS
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2012
When do I prune my crape myrtle? Never, if that suits you. Crape myrtles bloom on new growth. A healthy shrub puts out new growth each year and, thus, new blooms, too. A pruned shrubs reacts by putting out more new growth, but heavy pruning is not necessary to enjoy crape myrtle blooms. Of course, crape myrtles may grow too large or need pruning for other reasons, but the annual chopping (known in some circles as "crape murder") is not required for blooming crape myrtles. Any pruning should be done in late winter/early spring.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2010
Question: On my young shade tree, two branches suddenly zoomed up that are taller than the rest. Should I cut them back to the same height as the others? Answer: Your tree has produced two leaders. Generally shade trees should have one dominant leader branch which is taller and stronger than all others. You want to encourage this leader to direct growth upwards. Choose your straightest, most vigorous, and best-positioned leader to retain. Prune the competing leader several inches shorter, so it does not out grow the leader.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2010
Question: What's the trick to making pruned shrubs look good? Mine look hacked up and then don't grow the way I want. Answer: Try to work with the plant's natural growth habit. If it wants to cascade, don't try to make it round or square. If its natural inclination is to have multiple trunks, you can make it a single trunk, but it will need continual pruning of new trunks. Shrubs look more natural if you cut back to a larger branch or a bud. The direction a bud or branch is pointing, is the direction new growth will go. Thus you can control the direction of your plant's branch by cutting to a bud that faces the direction you want.
NEWS
By Nancy Taylor Robson and Nancy Taylor Robson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 20, 2005
Even those who prefer a naturalistic landscape need to prune - if only to prevent Nature's indiscriminate scything. Mother Nature doesn't prune. She culls. Ice storms and gale-force winds scour the landscape for the vulnerable. They haphazardly lop and wrench, tear and fell, leaving chunks of debris and big holes in the scenery. Regular judicious pruning can both sculpt the view and help cut down on debris. "Careful pruning makes a plant, especially larger trees, much more tolerant of high winds," says Vic Priapi, owner of Priapi Gardens in Cecilton.
NEWS
By David McNear and David McNear,Contributing writer | April 21, 1991
At first, it seems like a paradox: One of the most effective ways toencourage the growth of a healthy, attractive tree or shrub is actually to cut, saw or otherwise chop at it methodically.Pruning at its best can rise to the level of an art with potential for a personal, creative touch. By pruning, you can enhance a plant's natural growth pattern and coax it into its optimum shape.Besides training a plant's growth, pruning provides other gardening benefits. When transplanting, good pruning can make the differencebetween life and death for your plant.
NEWS
By Julie Rothman and Julie Rothman,Special to The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2010
Ginger Hale from Ruxton wrote in search of a recipe she has lost for pork chops cooked with prunes and molasses. She said that her mother got the recipe in the mid-1940s from what must have been one of the earliest TV cooking shows. Unfortunately, I did not receive any answers from readers about this particular recipe, but I was confident that I could find something close to what Hale was looking for if I searched the Internet. These days pork, either stuffed or cooked with dried fruit, is a popular combination.
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