Meridian Star

Life

February 16, 2014

Long Creek Community Development Club

MERIDIAN —     Long Creek Community Development Club members met at their clubhouse on Feb.10 under wet weather conditions, which, according to guest speaker Wayne Porter, is good for the nice growth of plants, shrubs, and trees come spring.

    Porter, a Mississippi State Extension Service horticulture agent, gave a PowerPoint presentation on pruning. He said a good pruning is like a good haircut – hardly noticeable at first glance.

    But what to prune when is a question Porter is asked by people. His rule of thumb is simple: If a plant flowers before May, then prune after they bloom. But if a plant flowers after May, prune prior to spring growth.

    Porter advised that late summer to early fall is the worst time to prune, except for storm-damaged plants.  

    So, why prune in the first place?

    "An obvious answer is to limit the size and shape of a plant so it won’t overpower the landscape, or interfere with structures or utility lines," he said.

    Other less understood practices of landscape maintenance are to direct or train trees to grow in a particular form to eliminate problems, or to remove diseased, insect-infested, dead or abnormal plant tissue.  

    There are also a number of pruning methods as well as pruning equipment to use. Equipment to use depends upon the type of pruning method necessary for each plant. For example, a power saw should not be used for small limbs, nor hand shears for thick branches.  

    What is not so obvious, however, is the importance of using clean equipment to help prevent the spread of disease organisms. Sharp equipment also helps prevent tearing plants.

    “Be smart when you prune,” Porter advised. “Avoid pruning around power lines, and hire a certified arborist when you need to cut mature, larger trees.”

    For more detailed information on pruning landscape plants, call (601) 482-9764, or email Porter at wporter@ext.msstate.edu or visit his office at 410 Constitution Ave. on the fifth floor of the Courthouse Annex Building.  

    Future meetings of the Long Creek Community Development Club during winter months will begin at 6 p.m. at 4892 Zero Road. Residents in the Long Creek community are encouraged to join the club at no charge.  

    The next meeting is scheduled for March 10.

• Submitted by Jill Renee Walsh.

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