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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 16, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta LETHBRIDGE April TREE DOCTORS SHARE GARDEN HINTS By RIG SWIHART, Herald Staff Writer The pruning season is here for most tree varieties, and city gardeners, saws in hand, will be in their yards in the weeks ahead "doing what comes naturally." And members of the Lethbridge Research Station are concerned that amateur gardeners might cause permanent damage to valuable trees by improper pruning methods. (Jil Croome. a science writer and forestry expert at the station, says there is a way to prune trees and there is a way to butcher slrees. He thinks amateur gardeners should lake the time to do the job right. Pruning is done to remove dead, diseased and broken branches as a safety measure, promote growth by selective branch removal and to improve the appearance of the plant. Most pruning should be done before May before the tree has begun lo sprout leaves. The exceptions to this rule are spring flowering trees such as crab-apple and Mayday. These varieties might better be pruned after the flowers have died. Hircli and Maple trees have a strong sap flow in the early spring and any cut or wound before leaves have fully developed will "bleed." Pruning these hard-wood trees before the leaves are completely developed could cause severe damage and make them susceptible to disease. Another reason for spring pruning is that the gardener can easily see what he is doing. All the branches are readily exposed and there isn't as much actual material that has to be removed. shrubs like lilacs, honeysuckles, double flowering plums and bridal wreath spirea shouldn't be pruned until they have blixmied because the flower buds arc set on the previous year's growth of wood. Pruning can be used to advantage with flowering shrubs as with large trees, to clear the centre growth area of cover. This promotes renewed health and vigor by exposing the crown to light and air. The crown is the area of the plant from which the branches spread from the main trunk. Any suckering branches sprouting from, the ground should also be removed in the spring. Mr. Croome, aided by Lethbridge Research Station head groundsman George Brees, performed a pruning job on a crabapple tree at the Hrees prunes crab ;