Pruning Simplified

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Very good, straightforward instructions and advice on pruning.  I have recently acquired a home with a good deal of landscaping and no landscaping experience.  Probably should have read this book before I decided to buy.  This has helped immensely to know when and where and what to do.
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I would like to thank Timber Press for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I required their approval, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

Okay, so one of my vices is gardening… I like the whole idea of it, but any time I try and do anything serious in my garden my green thumb turns black, and it all dies. So my garden is, in general, a huge overgrown mess. Feeling sorry for plants out there I wanted to give them a trim, but wanted to get it right as I have already learnt the wrong way to prune – I could tell it was wrong, things died.

This is why I asked to read ‘Pruning Simplified’, as I need all the step by step guidance I could find. And I really enjoyed it. There is some great basic info at the start about your equipment, how to maintain it, store it, etc. But the part I loved was the ‘Directory of Plants’ that goes through plant by plant how to prune, when to prune, when not to and so on. Talk about a helping hand! Most of my gardening books will talk about plants as to which part of the garden best suits them, water levels, flowering times, etc. That’s all well and good, but I needed to know when and how to hack them down when I can no longer reach the clothes line. I knew the basics of roses, and hadn’t killed my nectarine tree after a heavy trim, but I really didn’t want to do much more without help. I now feel I have that help with ‘Pruning Simplified’. Though I will state here and now that they are very open and honest to the fact that they only list “50 popular tree and shrubs” in their directory so don’t get upset if the plant you want help with isn’t listed. Timber Press is a North American publisher and so the popular plants listed at popular IN North America… so there were a few gaps for this Aussie gardener. Still, there is enough there to encourage me to sharpen my shears and have a go.

As you can probably tell, I found ‘Pruning Simplified’ a great reference book. I mean, yes you could sit down and read it from cover to cover just to take it all in, but it is a guide, something to refer back to as the need arises. There are also some great tables on when to prune, plants that require little to no pruning, best plants for hedges and the like and so on. Add to that the glossary (the dummies guide for people like me) and yes, I found it a great reference book.

When it comes to the nitty gritty layout, format, etc – ‘Pruning Simplified’ lives up to the excellent standard I have come to expect when reviewing books by Timer Press. Clear, easy to follow, well laid out, excellent reference book.

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. Whether you’re a bit of a black thumb in the garden like me, or a truly blessed green thumb – you will find some good advice on how to prune. As I can honestly see even experienced gardeners wanting to double check the best methods and times to prune certain plants, so can see them referring to this book as much as someone just starting out in the garden.

Would I buy this book for myself?

Quite probably. As with most books like this, I would much rather seek out a book better suited for the Australian climate and plants. But, saying that, a lot of the plants I grow in my garden are listed and so there isn’t that much of an issue. The table in the back goes by seasons, which was such a relief, as I hate trying to remember which months go with which seasons in the southern hemisphere, let alone the northern one. ;-)

But, yes, I could see myself buying the paper format version of ‘Pruning Simplified’ just to help me not kill yet another plant I have been loving looking after and then decided to tidy up.

In summary: a well laid out, highly informative guide to the best way to prune popular plants.
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Simple, easy-to-follow instructions and lots of full-color photos make this a must-have for any library with avid gardeners. The book is organized alphabetically by plant type, with when to prune and what tools to use for each.
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It’s that time again! Late winter to early spring is pretty much the best time to prune trees and woody shrubs. I’ve already tackled some overgrown viburnums, but the crazy weather in Chicago prevented me from finishing up the redtwig dogwoods and getting to a very, very sad (i.e., half-dead) honeysuckle.

Though I’ve taken a few classes and read MANY books on pruning, I still found a lot of good advice in Pruning Simplified. It briefly covers common pruning techniques and tools, but the bulk of its content focuses on individual plants, specifically over 50 of the most widely used garden plants—from butterfly bush to crab apple, lilac to yews, and the list goes on.

Each plant is listed alphabetically by its botanical name and given a two-page write-up that includes a picture, pruning tips, guidelines for when to prune and which tools to use, and step-by-step advice for different pruning “intensities.” It gives just the right amount of information without overwhelming the reader, and the how-to pictures are perfect! Very clear and helpful.

There’s also a Special Features section in the back that covers more specific pruning tasks—like hedges, ground covers, conifers, etc.—and a very short spreadsheet that lists ideal pruning times for each plant.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. It has been an invaluable guide for me this winter, and I know I will reference it again and again.
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when we bought our home a few years back, the trees and shrubs had been allowed to grow wild with no thought to landscaping or even the damage that could be done to the house or outbuildings.  I really wish I had had this book then.  We slashed and chopped with no thought other than clearing.  We managed to damage and in some cases, kill many beautiful plants and trees.  
This book gives clear guidance on how, when and to what extent pruning should be done on 50 common trees and shrubs.  The information is presented in such a manner that anyone can easily find and follow the guidance for their yards.  In the last few years, we have been planting.  Now I have the knowledge to protect our investment and make our home beautiful!  Read this book BEFORE and you will not be sorry AFTER!
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Pruning Simplified is a new tutorial gardening guide specifically for pruning by Steven 'Brad' Bradley. Due out 5th Feb 2019 (original edition 2005) from Timber Press, it's 192 pages and available in paperback format.

I'm a keen gardener. Despite enjoying gardening and growing up with grandparents who were keen gardeners and always let me have my own 'patch', I've been intimidated by pruning. Pruning was always my grandfather's purview and even though he was always generous with his time and had infinite patience with me, it never really 'stuck' with me. I think in my case at least the threat of ruining a potentially very valuable plant leads to intimidation. I don't want to 'ruin' my roses or the fruit trees I overtook when we bought our property, and so I wind up doing nothing (and generally making the situation worse).

The author has an encouraging 'voice'. His instructions are well-written and factual. He explains what the natural growing mechanisms are for each of the 50 plants in this primer and how to best utilize them to get the best performance from the various trees, shrubs, and vining plants. The included pruning diagrams are concise and easy to understand.

The book opens with an introduction including the whys and wherefores of pruning strategy. The introduction represents about 8% of the page content. The 'meat' of the book is the species by species primer section, roughly 70%. They include garden staples such as several types of rose, both deciduous and evergreen barberry, forsythia, wisteria, clematis, and a host of fruit trees. This list is by no means exhaustive. I do know that there wasn't a bush or tree in my eclectic garden which wasn't represented. The primers are followed by a more general technique and theory section, along with a very valuable section on remedial pruning to get plants which have run wild back into shape and production. There are appendices with tables covering hedge plant use and maintenance and when to undertake pruning of different species as well as a very basic glossary.

The index is cross referenced by species and variety.

All in all a very useful addition to the gardener's bookshelf.

Four stars.
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This is an excellent introduction to the proper way to prune a variety of plants, shrubs, and trees. It discusses what tool to use for what purpose, and has an extensive list of specific plants and how best to prune them. I know this is a resource I will consult regularly, because I always have something that needs pruning?
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A fantastic read for the new and uncertain pruner. If you are afraid that trimming will cause harm to your shrub or tree then read this book first! I found the pages about hydrangea trimming especially helpful since mine tend to get spindly and overproduce flowers. Overall, this is a top notch book. 

Thanks to #NetGalley, I had an advanced PDF to read and review. 

*All opinions are my own and I was not require to post a positive review. *
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Detailed illustrated guide to pruning with different techniques and for different types of plants. 

I'm a total beginner and as such, am approaching this from a beginner's standpoint. The explanations were coherent but the illustrations made it easy for me to follow. I've recently moved to a new home with a mature landscaped yard. I think I now have the know-how to tackle the next season's pruning!
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Fabulous and informative book that is easy to read and follow.  There is an explanation on why to prune followed with tools and equipment to use.  There is a larger list of plants each with plant detail followed with   good drawing of where to prune for best results.
At the end there is a section of special pruning of trees, standards, shaping, hedges, conifers and climbers and groundcovers.
I found this book extremely helpful with the diagrams and the explanation on why we prune. I do a lot of pruning in my garden because of the nature of the plants, and this is one of the easiest and most informative books I have come across.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
From the publisher --- 

Paying a professional to prune your trees and shrubs is an unnecessary expense. Gardeners and homeowners can tackle most trees and shrubs on their own, and Pruning Simplified details exactly how to do it. Steven Bradley makes it easier than ever to learn how to prune. He offers expert advice on the best tools for the job, specific details on when to prune, and clear instructions on how to prune. This plant-by-plant guide profiles 50 of the most popular trees and shrubs, including azaleas, camellias, clematis, and more. Each plant profile includes illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions that will allow new gardeners will feel confident about making the right cuts the first time they prune.

Not sure how to prune? This is the book for you. I am a known plant killer so this was right up my alley: once I read this, I realized how I was killing my plants with bad pruning. I loved how many plants the author went through and described in clear detail how to prune vs. murder. 
A great book for the gardener in your life.
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This book is well suited to those who want to maintain a well designed landscape.
It has a small introductory section that discusses pruning in general and then uses the bulk of its content to discuss the pruning specifics for specific trees/shrubs. Most of the plants were not edible so this was not too useful for me as a home gardener who doesn't care about ornamentals.
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Jam-packed with lots of information as to why to prune, how to go about it, and, finally, types of pruning that might be more applicable to your plant situation (along with a nifty summarization graph at the end). 

Diagrams help the reader to see what exactly the author is trying to convey, and, even being exceptionally green behind the ears on terms of pruning, I feel that this book gives me enough information to get me going without a tremendous fear of accidentally killing what I’m trying to help out. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the advance read.
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This is an extremely thorough guide to pruning 50 common trees, shrubs and vines with lots of color photos and helpful drawings showing exactly how and where to trim back each variety. Color photos accompany each plant and there are details about when to prune, why, and more. Other sections cover why pruning is helpful and necessary, tools and much more. Some benefits of each plant are listed, too, so it's a nice way to see what you might like to add to your garden.

My one issue with this book is that it is not that complete. As the author of a book on elderberries I was happy to see that they were covered, but my main reason for reading the book was to find out how to properly prune my overgrown black raspberries and raspberries, since I always forget which ones bear on last year's growth. Raspberries are not covered, as are most edible landscaping shrubs like blueberries, gooseberries or blackberries. Some plants are covered in quite a few ways (4 or 5 of the 50 plants included are different types of roses like shrub roses and climbing roses, for instance) while others are not included at all. Plant zones are also not listed, so if you fall in love with one of them based on the photos and descriptions, you'll have to search on your own to see if it's suitable for your zone.

Note that the plants are listed by Latin name in the table of contents. As a gardener, I know that this is common practice and why. That said, readers who only know their plants' common names will have a bit of searching to do in order to locate them. They do list common names in the individual entries, but not in the table of contents where folks are likely to look first to try to find their plants.

This is a great reference book for gardeners and homeowners who have a variety of trees, shrubs and vines to maintain.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for purpose of review.
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If you have a yard that came with trees, vines, shrubs, ground covers, and/or hedges, or if you have planted some of your own, this is a must-have book. When I first moved to my current house, I was clueless on how to manage what was already there and I certainly didn't train and prune those or the new things I planted correctly. Some were small and seemingly growing fine to me(and wow, was I ever mistaken). Had I done proper maintenance pruning, I would have a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing yard, but it is never too late to do remedial pruning and I can now at least do the right thing for any new additions.
The Directory of Plants covers over 60 varieties and I now know how to prune my overgrown Forsythia, Rhododendrons, and Hydrangea. Basic techniques and pruning equipment are covered first, then each plant in the directory provides information on formative, routine, and remedial pruning with pictures that show you where to prune the plant based on your objectives. The next section, Special Features, covers trees, hedges, climbers, ground cover, as well as low-maintenance, renovation, and specialized pruning. I really appreciated the 'When to Prune Most Species”' chart since different plants do better when pruned in the correct season.
A well written and useful book for anyone who wants to do their own DIY pruning. A hard copy will be a great addition to my gardening/yard care shelf.
I received a DRC from Timber Press through NetGalley.
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An extremely helpful resource for beginner and expert gardeners alike to achieve healthy, thriving and beautiful shrubs and trees. Info on basic and special techniques, various tools, and 50 plant-specific guides (including how-to illustrations). I need a print copy of this to refer to each spring!
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This book Pruning Simplified is such a must-have for everyone who owns a garden and does not know which plant, how, when to prune it. This is quite a complex topic and I love how it was indeed simplified. You fastly have in the book the pruning scheme for typical plants. Also, there is an additional part to know how to prune specific plants (climbers, trees,...) depending on how you want to have them.
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I always love pottering around in our garden, taking care of the plants as a way to wind down and relax. I confess I’m still a beginner when it comes to pruning though, so when I saw this book popping up I was interested right away. Pruning Simplified is a great guide for beginners and professionals alike, with an insightful introduction and a detailed instruction on how to prune no less than 50 popular trees and shrubs. They will be a great help tending to my bougainvillea, camellia, fuchsia, hibiscus, hydrangea, lavender, azalea and roses! Each plant not only has instructions on how to prune and keep your plant healthy, but also when exactly you should prune. Very helpful! There is also a detailed description on how to prune trees and hedges, all combined with illustrations to help visualize where and how to cut. Pruning Simplified is a great reference for anyone wanting to learn more about pruning plants.
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An extremely useful book  for amateurs and professionals alike. There's something here for all your pruning needs. If you're going to garden, you're going to need this book at some point.
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While this book doesn't cover every plant or tree in my yard, I did learn what I've been doing wrong with a few of them! This book covers 50 common plants and trees and includes information on formative pruning, routine pruning and remedial pruning for each. There is also a useful table listing when to prune various species, plants requiring little or no pruning and hedging plants. This will be a very handy reference.

Thank you to the author Steven Bradley, Timber Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. All comments are my own, unbiased opinion.
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