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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
The high school girls basketball season started this week. The Batesville Bulldogs will play tomorrow night at North Decatur. Other teams in the area have already opened their seasons. It appears that the top team in this area will be the East Central Lady Trojans. Coach Moore’s tall and talented crew lost some key performers last year, but they return a very solid core for this season. The same can be said about the Batesville Lady Bulldogs who return 5 players who started at least one game last year. Both of these teams have at least 4 girls who top the 6′ mark.Jac-Cen-Del returns at least 4 starters from last year, and this Class 1A team will again be the team to beat at this level. The only thing lacking in Coach Smith’s crew is overall height. Greensburg, under a new coach, has 3 incoming freshmen including Whitaker and the Meyer twins along with the McIntosh girl whose brother is now playing for Northwestern. She is a junior. North Decatur has the senior Wallpe twins among others.Oldenburg Academy lost some key seniors but they have a good core of ladies returning for Coach Kerker’s crew. Franklin County and Milan will try to get their squads back on the winning side after a few seasons of losing records. South Ripley had a large crew of underclassmen last year and should be much stronger for Coach Mack than they were last year.I am looking forward to some very competitive games from our local squads. read more
GETTY Monk took charge of Birmingham in March 2018 after spells at Middlesbrough, Leeds and Swansea 1 Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has dropped a strong hint that manager Garry Monk is on his way out of the Welsh club, after declaring that “something needs to change”.Reports on Monday suggested the Englishman was on the brink of the sack after being called into crunch talks with the club’s board following Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to in-form Leicester City.Monk took first-team training as normal on Tuesday but Jenkins – in London to collect his OBE for services to sport in Wales – indicated an announcement on his future could be imminent.“We all feel at the club that something needs to change to get things back on a positive note as quickly as possible and get us back to the levels of performances we have got to have to win games at the Premier League level,” the Liberty Stadium chief said.Jenkins refused to confirm whether Monk would be sacked, but asked if an announcement would be made on Tuesday, replied: “Not today, because I am up here [in London].”Swansea have won once in their last 13 games and the weekend’s loss left them just one point above the relegation zone.Monk survived showdown talks with Jenkins on Monday but his departure now seems just a matter of time with Brendan Rodgers and David Moyes among those strongly linked with the Liberty Stadium post.Monk steered the Swans to an eighth-place finish in the top-flight last season but their form has nose-dived during this campaign, prompting Jenkins to admit major changes are necessary.Jenkins added: “The difference between the end of August and how we find ourselves today is something we haven’t experienced at Swansea before, such a big change around from where we were after beating Man United in the last game in August.“I think it just again highlights if things are not dealt with and addressed early enough the Premier League is very unforgiving, and unless every angle and everybody’s focus is 100% week in, week out, things can change very quickly.” read more