Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Despite knowing which branches I want to remove, sometimes I just can’t reach the perfect spot for making the right cuts. Certainly, I could hack away on the trees in an attempt to make them shorter or to lighten them up so they don’t drag on my rooftop or twist into my overhead utility lines. But, because I understand how plants grow and react to pruning cuts, I choose to bring in arborists from time-to-time to ensure the cuts are made in just the right spot to keep my trees beautiful and healthy.
Enter: Apical Tree Service.
When I asked Roger Brown of Apical how he came up with the name for the company, he laughed, “Yeah, people ask me what that means, and I tell them that only plant geeks really get it.” And, unfortunately, he’s right. The term “apical” isn’t something folks are usually bantering about at cocktails parties. That being said, it holds the key to much of what happens in plant growth.
Think of it this way: the apical bud on a plant grows at the apex. Apical buds grow at the end of roots, the tip of branches, and at the top of trees. And it is these buds that that control much of what happens as the tree grows. Through chemical signals, they tell leaves where and how to form. They tell side buds, known as axillary buds, to hold tight or to open up and form into new plant parts. When we remove apical buds in haphazard pruning attempts, all sorts of crazy growth can erupt on our plants.
Here’s my favorite analogy to help new gardeners understand what apical buds do.
Imagine this: An apical bud is the parent of an irresponsible teenager. If the parent takes off on vacation and leaves the kid alone with no oversight in place, they might come home to the hairy looking leftovers of a teenage party-gone-bad. Similarly, if an apical bud is randomly chopped off a branch and the rest of the branch is left as a stump on the tree, all sorts of crazy branches will begin shooting off that stump right away. It’ll be a hairy mess. Or, in the worst case: the tree will die.
So, if you’re planning to do some pruning, be aware of those apical buds. If you need to remove a branch, be sure to remove the entire branch. That way you take out the bud at the branch’s apex (aka the apical bud), and you take out all of the axillary buds on the branch, which the branch’s apical bud had controlled. Sometimes this means you will need to make a series of cuts beginning at the apex and working your way back to the trunk. Taking out smaller bits will reduce the chance of hurting yourself, your surroundings or damaging the parts of the tree you wish to leave behind. As well, do your best not to damage the “collar” or “ridge” that forms at every juncture where a branch meets a trunk or another branch. And, of course, never try to cut the top off a tree to make it shorter. The end result will be an ugly, hairy mess of uncontrolled growth shooting everywhere. Or, worse yet, your tree will simply die.