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Essential Pruning Techniques

Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers

By George E. Brown

Revised by Tony Kirkham

“Walks any would-be arborist through a veritable dictionary of trees, from abelias to zenobias.” —The New York Times Book Review

Pruning is an indispensable part of garden maintenance, but it is also one of the most difficult. Successful pruning requires a thorough knowledge of a plant’s growth and flowering habits. In Essential Pruning Techniques Tony Kirkham—the head of the arboretum and gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew—shares his decades of knowledge and expertise and expands on the groundbreaking work done by George E. Brown. Step-by-step photographs clearly show the general principles of pruning, and profiles of 379 woody plants include advice on habit, attributes, reasons for pruning, and the best time to prune. Essential Pruning Techniques is a must-have reference for home gardeners and professionals. 

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George E. Brown

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Tony Kirkham

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Review quotes
“Walks any would-be arborist through a veritable dictionary of trees, from abelias to zenobias.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An even more excellent text for shaping trees, shrubs, and conifers.” —Booklist starred review

“Kirkham adds to the knowledge and authority put forth by George E. Brown. . . . best serves experienced gardeners.” —Publishers Weekly

“Useful for anyone who wants to learn how to prune correctly.” —The American Gardener

“The volume begins with a hearty 40-page section on how to prune, with many tremendous images of well-pruned plants displayed in their entirety, so that the reader knows what to aim for. The ensuing A-Z of how to prune plants by genus is exhaustive, with numerous ‘how-to’ images of Tony at work. The fine images of mature trees and shrubs in the alphabetical list makes this section of the book an illustrated tree and shrub encyclopedia in itself. Pruning is perhaps the gardening task that worries gardener’s most and this blend of age-old wisdom and new techniques has solutions for most pruning dilemmas—for that, this book is priceless.” —The English Garden

“The combined experience of two careers in woody plants makes for unrivalled authenticity. The 48 pages devoted to pruning basics are full of wisdom and sound guidance.” —The Royal Horticultural Society​

“Serious gardeners will come back to it again and again.” —The Times

“A must-have reference for home gardeners and professionals.” —Detroit Lakes Tribune

“Brown and Kirkham’s work is a valuable reference for home gardeners and professionals alike.” —Michigan Gardener

“Every tree and shrub you can think of is covered with a clear explanation of how, where and why it should be pruned. It’s invaluable.” —Waitrose Magazine

“Expanded, updated, and beautifully illustrated. . . . a durable and worthy reference book for any arborists, gardeners, and landscaper contractors wanting to know more than just basic pruning.” —Pacific Northwest Trees
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
March 22, 2017