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coûteux mes chers amis, mais oui.............

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EXCUSE THE FRENCH……….BUT IT WILL MAKE SENSE IN A MINUTE…..
Having a small garden, means that you have to keep shrubs/trees pruned if you want to keep them in a confined space…..so I was very interested to read about a French pruning method used extensively by the late Princess Greta Sturdza at Le Vasterival Normandy…..Beautiful garden, to view photographs, see Images on the net)
A book has been written on this art called La taille de transparence by Dominique Cousin, unfortunately it is all written in French lol, luckily it is all well photographed and very easy to follow, also Google translation is excellent……


The next picture shows John Massey from the well known Ashwood Nurseries teaching Mary Keen well known garden writer just how to do it, ( he was taught by the late Princess Greta Sturdza)


The article relating to this picture is available to view online (The TelegraphGardening)
The book is rather expensive at £23.00 but to me well worth it.
So to summarise………

Basic principles
Stand back and look at the natural shape of the tree
Use sharp, clean tools
Aim for an open centre – think of a vase
Remove dead wood and crossing branches
Take out spindly side shoots
Cut lateral shoots where they interfere with the chosen shape and as high up the leaders as you can
Prune close to the main branch or trunk so that wounds heal
Cut heavy branches a couple of feet above the final cut
Stand back and admire your work
Add more plants under the rejuvenated tree, this is also a reason to prune the French way, you are then able to grow more plants under your trees/shrubs because of the light filtering through.
I do wonder if it would be possible to get this book at your local library ? well food for thought.

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Comments

 

sounds very interesting DD - I need to go around shaping mine a bit more or better - be nice to see how you get on with this

24 Feb, 2013

 

Thanks Paul, we are going to try it on a very established Arbutus Unedo, because it is very dense.......when the weather gets warmer....

24 Feb, 2013

 

will be nice - I have been starting pruning some bushes to make them more tree like - I feel some look loads better and prettier that way . Some bushy ones get scruffy in smaller gardens or packed ones

24 Feb, 2013

 

Aha, interesting. I have always done this with my trees and shrubs, particularly with Rhodys and Acers....it makes all the difference.

24 Feb, 2013

 

Interesting blog. I always try to open the middle of trees/shrubs up in order to let air circulate so I guess most pruning techniques have crossovers and work on the same main principle !

24 Feb, 2013

 

That's true, but I think that raising the crown is often overlooked in the uk, missing the opportunity to grow more plants underneath the shrubs Paul. Mind you, I am a bit of a demon with the secateurs...not always totally sucessfully! lol ;)

24 Feb, 2013

 

Trial and error Karen!!! I often have trees/shrubs tha have been neglected for many years and then their owners expect me to perform miracles ! the best time to train a tree into the shape we want is when it's still young!!!

24 Feb, 2013

 

I've done this with an acer because it wanted to be a big spreading shrub with branches down to the ground and it simply covered too much space and was overpowering for my small garden, so over the years I've removed lower branches and turned it into a tree shape. It's a good technique and it does mean you can fit more plants in underneath so a win/win situation!:)

24 Feb, 2013

 

Yes, Louisa, and,of course, the more we prune /trim the top the more they shoot at the bottom, but as you say ,it's best to remove lower shoots in order to keep the tree shape and grow things underneath!!

24 Feb, 2013

 

My Patio Roses are thriving in my horrible clay soil, covering a big area easily. I am a bit nervous about controlling them. Have just nipped off the ends of the
8 foot long branches - hoping for the best. Its difficult to hoe underneath them to get all the weed growth out.
On the council garden down the road the gardeners have cut them right back. It would be good to have the right advice about this problem.

25 Feb, 2013

 

Diane, I believe it is very 'difficult' to kill a rose by pruning it, so go for it......(Karen takes deep breath and waits to be shot down in flames.....;))

25 Feb, 2013

 

Bon blog ...;o)
added to GoYpedia Pruning :o)

25 Feb, 2013

 

Diane I am on the same clay soil as you and have to heavily prune my Roses to keep them under control.
Dotty I have used this technique on a few shrubs in my garden Including a large Ceanothus it is a good way to pack more plants in a small space.

25 Feb, 2013

amy
Amy
 

This is something we must take more seriously we have been prone to letting shrubs get to large we then have to hard prune them which in turn takes time for them to recover :o(

25 Feb, 2013

 

I was taught to do that by my mum, I picked up lots of her methods over the years, she always said "Remember to let the light in" I do it when pruning my fruit trees, taking out the centre and any branches that are crisscrossing, I also do it to my shrub roses it works for me, have to say I also use the stand back and study method, there is always the odd one that gets overlooked until one walks away, lol.......

25 Feb, 2013

 

Common-sense pruning isn't it really. Geoff Hamilton encouraged this method especially with fruit trees. It doesn't look too good with shrubs on my sloping site so only do it with the trees.

25 Feb, 2013

 

Allons , mes amis .

25 Feb, 2013

 

Thanks for all your comments, have been putting in to practice what I have been preaching, pruned some of our older roses right back, so they have two choices now!! all will be revealed in a blog soon.......

26 Feb, 2013

 

I found this interesting Dd as I'm not very good at pruning. I did visit Fourseasons gardens a year or so ago and they pruned just about everything twice a year. I'm just going to go for it lol, I'll google this book thanks :-))

26 Feb, 2013

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