Changing climate qualified prospects to warning on when to commence pruning

I didn’t want to be the 1 responsible for branch dieback on your crops! So, I just caused confusion.

The fact is, as I was crafting previous weeks’ column, a memory in the again of my brain kept pushing forth. It was a relating to a pruning issue that happened in Wooster at the Secrest Arboretum lots of years in the past.

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The arboretum director at that time, fantastic plantsman, and good friend Ken Cochran, tells the tale of ruining an full mature boxwood hedge by pruning at the incorrect time. He didn’t seriously wreck it, but it took numerous a long time prior to it loaded back in.

Ken experienced the crew prune it back, about 10-12 inches in the center of November. Inside of a week, the temperatures dropped into the teens. By spring, virtually half of the four-foot hedge had died again. The lead to was gentle tissue mainly because of pruning uncovered to freezing temperatures.

This transpires but it does not materialize normally. It is a risk that Ken took to get the work carried out. He understood it was attainable but wanted to get the boxwood pruned.

When generating recommendations, I test to err on the minimal-chance facet. But the truth is that at times jobs must be concluded, and the timing isn’t always perfect.

Another fantastic instance is seeding grass in the fall. The advised time is late August to early September. I am sure that some of you have seeded a garden in Oct and ended up prosperous.

The situation with seeding is that if the grass germinates and is younger and tender, and we get a difficult freeze at this stage, the seedlings are killed.

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In terms of pruning, I would really feel safe telling you today that you can commence whenever this next week, understanding that if the temperature drops in the teens, you may perhaps have dieback.

The chances of this occurring commence to minimize in March and you want to get pruning completed right before progress emerges. Just understand the danger in this situation.

By the way, viticulturists (grape for wine farmers) who have massive orchards acquire this danger for the duration of the winter. If they have lots of vines, which all ought to be hand pruned yearly, it occasionally can take all winter to do it.

I system on pruning this future 7 days so I say, William, go forth and prune!

Pamela Corle-Bennett is the condition master gardener volunteer coordinator and horticulture educator for Ohio Point out University Extension. Speak to her by e mail at

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