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 »
When plants are resting for winter, leaves have fallen, and branching structure is unclothed, pruning is easier on the plant and on the person pruning. Knowing how to make cuts, where to make cuts, when to cut, why to cut (or not to cut), and what tool to cut with are key in optimizing our pruning practices and plant health.
Before you decide to prune your twiggy winterized shrubs, it is important to know when it will bloom. Many bare-branched beauties are already filled with tightly held flower buds for spring. If you cut them off in winter, they won’t bloom for another year. Witch Hazel, Flowering Winter Currant, Forsythia, and Viburnum may offer bare winter branches, but better to prune them right after they bloom in spring instead.
Every pruning class I teach begins with a basic overview of how plants grow, which impacts how they react to pruning cuts. Tip buds on branches control how the rest of the stem grows. If we chop off those tip buds randomly, we can cause plants to flush out with new growth – in all the wrong places. These tipping or shearing cuts can be very detrimental to the overall health and safety of our trees and shrubs. * Instead of chopping randomly on branches, it is important to remove branches to points where they connect to other branches or trunks. Take care not to cut into the raised collar or ridge at the point where branches meet; this collar is important to tree’s ability to cope with pruning disturbances.
I prefer to use sterilized, sharp bypass hand shears and pruning saws to prune. If your hand shears aren’t big enough to make a clean-cut, use your hand saw instead. If you can’t reach, use a pole saw. For big trees requiring the pros, be sure to find a certified arborist who climbs using ropes, saddles and ladders. Climbing spikes will damage your trees.
Before you start cutting, evaluate the plant for basic clean up requirements. Look for dead material, broken branches, suckers, water sprouts and branches that are crossing or rubbing. Begin by clearing out all of the dead material, which will allow you to see the plant’s structure more clearly. Then, remove broken or torn branches, followed by suckers, water sprouts and rubbing/crossing branches. Always keep an eye on the volume of living material you have removed from the plant, never taking off more than one quarter (older, bigger plants) to one third (younger plants) within one growth year.
Once you have completed the basic clean up, step back and evaluate the project for shape; remove branches as needed, but don’t exceed the maximum annual removal total. Pruning for shape is usually what we want to do first; it should be what we do last.
And please, never cut the top off the plant in an attempt to make it shorter; cutting this way will simply cause the plant to send out all sorts of ugly shoots that get even taller, bushier, and will make for more intensive work in years ahead. “Topping” a tree this way will make your plant weak, ugly and potentially a hazard. If your plant is too big for your space, consider replacing it with the right, size appropriate plant for that place.
*Shearing some hedges, when done correctly (and not in the dead of winter) can be desirable.