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Pruning - Short Course

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Understand how to prune properly and when not to prune. 

Pruning is an ancient art. Man has been using it to tame plants for centuries as well as to promote desirable plant growth like flowers and fruits. However, not all plants benefit from pruning and the amount you can safely prune varies from species to species. Some plants only flower on new shoots whereas others may only flower on old wood. To fully understand pruning you need a basic appreciation of plant growth.

This short course is aimed at everyone who may need to prune plants, whether occasionally or regularly. It will teach you how to prune properly and when not to prune. Learn all aspects of pruning from using different equipment to pruning hedges, creating topiary, establishing espaliers and cordons, and even starting a bonsai.  Once finished, not only will you have honed your own skills but you should be better able to advise others.    


Lesson 1: Introduction

  • Why, when and what to prune: How pruning affects plants
  • Removing broken branches, dead or diseased wood
  • Controlling the type of growth
  • Controlling the plant’s shape and size
  • Promoting healthy, bushy growth
  • Rejuvenating a plant
  • Why prune?
  • Pruning different species
  • Timing for pruning
  •  What is compartmentalisation?

Lesson 2: Types of Pruning

  • Cleaning out dead wood
  • Stopping
  • Disbudding
  • Deadheading
  • Pollarding
  • Removing branches
  • Crown cleaning
  • Crown thinning
  • Crown reduction
  • Crown lifting
  • Crown renewal
  • Root pruning
  • Pruning trees in general
  • Pruning larger shrubs
  • Pruning tropical plants
  • Pruning container plants

Lesson 3: Pruning Tools and Equipment

  • Secateurs
  • Pruning knife
  • Loppers
  • Pole pruners
  • Hand saws
  • Trimmers
  • Chainsaws
  • Gloves

Lesson 4: Pruning Hedges

  • Selecting hedging plants
  • Establishing a hedge
  • Types of hedge
  • Pruning or trimming an established hedge
  • Rejuvenating old and overgrown hedges
  • Pruning conifers
  • Other hedging techniques
  • Pleaching
  • Tapestry hedges
  • Mazes

Lesson 5: Shaping Plants

  • How to develop an espalier
  • Horizontal espalier
  • Oblique palmette espalier
  • Topiary Portable topiary
  • Other plants suitable for topiary
  • Single-stem topiary
  • Verdant sculptures
  • Bonsai
  • Creating bonsai
  • Pruning bonsai to shape it

Lesson 6: Managing Prunings

  • Composting waste
  • Choosing plants for composting
  • Using compost to improve soil
  • Composting in home gardens
  • Indore method
  • Using lawn clippings
  • Mulching
  • How to lay mulch
  • Biochar
  • Chipping

Lesson 7: Pruning for Fruit Production

  • Before buying plants consider the shape
  • Before pruning
  • Points to consider when pruning
  • Pruning specific fruits
  • Citrus spp.
  • Pruning a bush shape
  • Pruning a standard shape
  • Renovating an old citrus tree
  • Open vase shape formative pruning
  • Plum tree pruning
  • Pruning apricots
  • Knowing your buds

Lesson 8: Pruning Roses

  • When to prune roses
  • Pruning techniques for different types of roses
  • Pruning climbers and ramblers at a glance
  • Pruning roses as standards
  • Dead heading roses
  • Rejuvenating an old rose plant

Lesson 9: Compendium of Plants - How to Prune What and When

  • Summary: Basic pruning guide
  • Glossary

How do our courses work?

  • Enrol any time of day or night.
  • Start studying immediately or later (as you wish).
  • Configure your study sessions at any length and frequency you wish.
  • Work through at your own pace.
  • Help desk- contact our help desk here with the subject title: 'Help Desk Short Course'.
  • Automated self assessment tests pop up at the end of each lesson. You can attempt these as many times as you wish; and each time, upon completion, you can see your results. You will need internet access to complete the self assessment tests.
  • At the end of the whole course, you are presented with a major automated examination which can be attempted online, anywhere, anytime.
  • If you achieve a 60% pass in the exam, you immediately receive a downloadable certificate of completion with your name on it.


Ideal for...

  • Home gardeners who want to do a lot better in their gardens
  • Anyone starting up or wanting to expand the range of services offered in a garden business (e.g. a lawn mowing business, seeking to offer an expanded service. When mowing work declines in winter, you can have another source of income, pruning roses and fruit trees)
  • Anyone seeking employment as a gardener. This course can give you knowledge and skill that sets you apart and gives an employer a reason to consider you above other applicants
  • Garden managers seeking to train their staff
  • Gardeners, nurserymen, landscapers or horticulturists wanting to fill in a gap in their skills set.


Example -Pages from this course:


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Pruning - Short Course Pruning - Short Course
£100.00 In stock