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When, why and how to properly prune a tree

LEXINGTON, Ky.—For a landscape tree, there’s nothing like a good pruning. Removing dead wood or undesirable growth or trimming to control the size are all important steps to maintaining a healthy tree in the home landscape. Pruning, however, is more than a matter of lopping off branches. There’s a method to the science, a method University of Kentucky senior arborist Stacy Borden will teach in a free workshop, “Tree Pruning 101,” from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 11.

The workshop will be held in the E.S. Good Barn on the UK campus and is sponsored by the Urban Forest Initiative and the Forest Health Research and Education Center, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Participants will learn the basics of when, why, and how to properly prune a tree. The workshop will consist of an indoor presentation followed by an outdoor, hands-on field component.

Borden will cover best practices, such as ornamental trees that flower before June 1 should be pruned immediately after flowering, while trees that bloom after June 1 should be pruned in winter or spring before new growth emerges. With shade trees, it is beneficial to their overall health to avoid pruning them while they are leafing out in the spring or losing leaves in the fall.

That information and more will be covered in the workshop. Space is limited. To reserve a spot, email Ellen Crocker at e.crocker@uky.edu.

The Urban Forest Initiative is a working group of the Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, whose mission is to advocate for and elevate the function, value, and perception of urban forests in the Bluegrass region.

The Forest Health Research and Education Center is a partnership between UK, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Southern Research Station, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry. Its mission is to advance the conservation of forested ecosystems by integrating genetics-based biological research with social science research and education and outreach on factors affecting tree health and forest restoration.

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