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By Marco T. FonsecaUniversity of GeorgiaAnyone who has sold a home knows a manicured landscape will sellyour property faster and for a higher price. Pruning trees andshrubs adds value to any home landscape.Proper punning produces landscapes with trees and shrubs thatlook natural and accentuate architectural designs. Mosthomeowners are primarily interested in getting the most flowersand maintaining the size and shape of their trees and shrubs. Butthisrequires a basic understanding of how plants grow and flower.For example, forsythias and azaleas set flowers during theprevious summer, so prune them after they flower. If you prunenow, you’re removing flowers or buds waiting to open.The proper pruning technique for these plants, after theybloom, is called thinning. Thinning will encourage a balancegrowth that allows light to penetrate and air to move inside theplant canopy. Plants with open canopies have more flowers andfewer diseases.Crape myrtlesCrape myrtles, like most plants that flower in the summer, setflowers on the current season’s growth. Prune these plants inlate winter to early spring.Assuming there are no more frosts left this winter and youhaven’t already done it, now would be the best time to prunecrape myrtles.Roses seem to like to be pruned. Look for buds with five leafletspointing toward the outside of the canopy — at the axis of thiscompound leaf is the flower bud. So, the more often you prune,the more flowers you’ll have.In the home orchard, pruning will help you establish and maintainproductive trees. One commercial muscadine grower told me that inthe year after she put some pruning coaching to work on hermuscadines, she had “tons of grapes.” Proper pruning can make ahuge difference in yields.Fruit plantsMuscadines can be pruned anytime they’re dormant. Vines pruned inlate winter to early spring are less likely to be damaged bycold. If you let grape vines go unpruned, they tend to produceheavily every other year, but the grapes will be inferior.Fruit tress must be trained in the early years to develop aproductive scaffold. Once the trees mature, prune to increaseproduction and to keep the overall tree vigorous.Pruning fruit trees is an art and a science. Proper pruning willassure that the trees will stay healthy while they produce plentyof fruit.To learn more about pruning fruit and landscape plants, contactthe county office of the University of Georgia Extension Service. read more
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI used to envy my friend in Portland, Ore. She could recycle so much more than my community allowed in any of the places where we lived. Now, recycling options are dwindling even there. The reason, according to www.waste360.com, is that China has adopted new standards in the materials they will accept from the rest of the world. The U.S. exports about one-third of its recycling, and nearly half of that goes to China. Now, because the materials are being looked at as too dirty or even hazardous, they have made the decision not to accept it for their own environmental and health reasons.When you are shopping for the holidays, try to make your vision: “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Or buy second-hand. Think about the items you are buying. Consider if they are necessary and take a good look at the packaging. If you have a choice, buy the ones with the least packaging or those in recycled packages. Bring reusable bags to the store with you. You can take them to the hardware store, bookstore or big box store, as well as grocery stores. Think about giving reusable bags as gifts this year. You can never have too many. And wrap in something fun like newspaper or fabric.Maybe Oregon is the “canary in the coal mine,” and the rest of our nation of recyclers could be next. This will affect local landfills. So if that is your concern, please shop wisely because our land and environment are too important to become garbage dumps.Florence CarnahanSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to online read more