Our summer intern guest blogger for this post is Alex Ronchetti, a rising sophomore at American University.
In high school I worked a summer job doing landscaping for houses around town. Part of that job required me to prune trees so that they didn’t grow onto sidewalks or utility lines. I picked up how to prune properly from watching others and by practicing, because I thought there was no instruction manual on how to do this. Imagine my surprise when I was searching through the GPO’s Bookstore and saw a Forest Service guidebook called How to Prune Trees.
This is a short how-to manual developed by the Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service, but it’s chock full of good information. It describes the three main reasons you should be pruning; safety, health of the tree, and aesthetic value. It then talks about the proper ways to prune trees also showing diagrams that show where to cut on the branch. The writing is easy to understand and the diagrams certainly help show examples of what the authors are talking about. There is also a section on proper cleaning of cutting tools and treating wounds that gave me insights that I hadn’t had before.