This Week's Podcast: Extreme Pruning
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regular listeners may remember, I spoke in Copake Falls, NY a few weeks ago,
and after talking about damage to the garden in New Jersey, a couple of the
people who attended the lecture and workshop volunteered to come and help weed.
At this point with all of the weeds brought by the river, anyone with a
willingness to work is welcome.
Last week, Brian Michaud drove down from Albany, NY, to help for the day. He, Louis Bauer and I got a whole lot done. It was great to learn more about Brian who is developing a beautiful garden on the site of his Greek revival house. He certainly can weed.
As we walked around looking at plants, he noticed one in front of the house that always grabs the most attention. It is a Paulownia “cutback” (above). Coppicing or stooling, as this severe pruning technique is called, makes this tree produce one enormous shoot with leaves up to two feet across.
late winter, I cut the former summer's growth to a few inches above the ground. In mid-spring,
shoots appear around the outside of the former year’s growth. I remove all but
one (left), and
that one grows fast and tall, ultimately reaching some 12 feet by September. Everyone who sees it calls it the “Jack-in-the-bean-stalk” plant.
On today’s show, I talk about this extreme pruning technique.
Berberis ‘Red Cloak’, large-leaf barberry
Produces strong shoots with larger leaves, stops fruiting of this potentially invasive plant
Carpinus betulus, European hornbeam
For infomal hedge
Catalpa bignoiodes, Indian bean tree and cigar tree
Produces large leaves
Eucalyptus, gum tree
Produces prettier bluish-silver juvenile growth, stops fruiting of this invasive tree
Fagus sylvatica, European beech
Produces multiple stems for hedging
Paulownia, empress tree, foxglove tree, princess tree
Stops flowering and fruiting of this potentially invasive species, produces enormous growth and huge leaves in one season. Should be done every year.
Platanus, London plane, sycamore
Produces multiple stems, large leaves