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The Pruning Book: Completely Revised and Updated    by Lee Reich order for
Pruning Book
by Lee Reich
Order:  USA  Can
Taunton Press, 2010 (2010)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

There are two ways to prune plants. The most common way is to take a cutting device and just flail away until the shrub or tree is cut back or down to the size you want it to be. Unfortunately, this is not the correct approach and can often do irreparable damage.

The other approach, the correct way of pruning, involves understanding and utilizing the proper cutting techniques so you end up with a healthy plant, shrub or tree. The Pruning Book by Lee Reich demystifies pruning and explains when and how to handle everything from humble house plants to fruit trees and towering oaks.

Completely revised and updated, this handy, inexpensive paperback includes 250 photos and 135 drawings that take the guesswork out of cutting back all manner of plants. Besides introductory chapters on why and when you should prune a plant or tree, there's a section on the various types of pruning tools and how plants will respond to being trimmed.

The nitty-gritty of this comprehensive guide, though, focuses on actual plants and how to approach the chore of annual pruning. You'll find chapters devoted to deciduous ornamental trees, evergreens, ornamental vines, fruit and nut trees, houseplants, and herbaceous plants.

For those with more specialized needs, the author also includes a section on pollarding, pleaching (weaving branches together), topiary care, bonsai, and forms of espalier (training a plant on a wall, trellis or along a fence).

Whether you wish to restore or rejuvenate a rangy or sorry looking plant to good health, control a plant's size, or increase the production of fruit or flowers, prunning is a necessity. If you are going to devote the time and effort needed to properly care for your yard or orchard, it makes sense that you learn to do the job correctly. This is the book you'll want at your side as you tackle the job!

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