About 20 LSU AgCenter Agents and Master Gardeners met with Craig Roussel and Dr. Charles Johnson in the demonstration fruit orchard on the hill at Lamar Dixon on March 3 for a hands-on pruningseminar.

The session began with the blueberries and proceeded across the orchard species by species. Fig pruning proved especially profitable for attendees as they selected pruned branches for propagation.

The main message about pruning in general was to take care of what is needed first such as dead branches. Then cut what is helpful such as crossed branches, branches that are too low on the trunk, or branches that are growing downward.

  Pruning to create more air circulation in the center or to limit the height of the tree would also fit in this category. Next, prune for aesthetics. Finally, take one walk around the tree to see if any more pruning is necessary, then walk away.

According to Dr. Johnson, this will help you not to continue cutting and end up cutting too much. As he said, you can always cut more later, but you can’t put it back.

Toward the end of the session, Dr. Johnson discussed various pruners and loppers and considerations when buying them. His final observation of the day was ”Master Gardeners can talk about garden tools for half an hour and find it interesting.”

We would like to thank Dr. Johnson, retired LSU AgCenter Horticulture Professor, for coming out and sharing his time and knowledge with the group.