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Free pruning workshop on Saturday

January is the perfect time to get out those pruning sheers and brush up on your technique.

Officials at Pahrump’s University of Nevada Cooperative Extension are inviting area gardeners to a special pruning workshop on Saturday from 9 a.m. until about 10 a.m.

The cooperative will have experts demonstrating the proper way to prune flora, to avoid damaging certain trees and shrubs.

Master Gardener Cherry McCormick said pruning is the most common tree maintenance procedure.

She noted that although forest trees grow quite well on their own, landscape trees require a higher level of care to maintain their anatomic integrity and pleasing aesthetics.

She emphasized that pruning must be done with an understanding of the tree’s biology.

Improper pruning can create lasting damage or even shorten the tree’s life.

“Pruning actually stimulates growth,” she said. “If you cut something it encourages growth, but when you want things to grow, sometimes it’s like they grow too much or in the wrong direction. Pruning also keeps your fruit trees at a reasonable level so you don’t have to use a ladder to harvest the fruit.”

The workshop will provide classroom instruction as well as hands-on demonstrations.

The cooperative invited Horticulturist M.L. Robinson and Bob Morris, an associate professor with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, both of whom are traveling from Las Vegas to provide their expertise.

“Mr. Robinson will give a lecture and slideshow on pruning,” she said. “Generally, he covers landscape trees and shrubs. After his talk we will go out to the garden area and demonstrate pruning techniques as taught by Mr. Morris. It’s best to prune your trees and shrubs during different times of the year. We will also have a master gardener here to demonstrate the proper way of pruning rose bushes and your general shrubs. It’s best not to prune your palm trees during this time of year.”

McCormick also said attendees may want to bring along a few common gardening implements for the demonstration, especially gloves.

“For this workshop you also want to bring your shears,” she said. “We will teach you to clean them and sterilize them because that’s how diseases can be prevented from spreading from plant to plant. If you prune on one shrub that has a disease and you go on to the next shrub, you will spread that disease, which is why it’s best to clean them. And it’s always a good idea to have your shears sharpened periodically.”

Saturday’s workshop is free.

The cooperative is located at 1651 E. Calvada Blvd., at Dandelion Street.

“This particular workshop we’ve had every year for quite a while,” McCormick said. “From this workshop, we will have a follow-up. This workshop is the initial winter workshop for fruit trees. Following that, we will have one in the springtime and one for the summer season.”

The cooperative is still accepting live Christmas trees for recycling.

The deadline is January 22.

“This is for live trees only and we are asking people to remove all ornaments and tinsel from the tree,” she said. “We will chop it up and it will be used as a mulch for our garden area.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com.

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