Rotarians Myron Heavin and Charlie Radaz (pictured from left to right) were the speakers at our Friday morning meeting.

Both gentlemen have been members of the Vandenberg Village club for many years. The program they delivered was about Pruning and Gardening.

Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time. Some are best pruned in winter; some right after flowering.

Myron pointed out e plants Peaches and Nectarines. The best time to do this is in January or February because of the 43 degrees chill factor. He said Apricots are best to plant in the summer; say June or July because of the possible diseases in the winter months. Fruit is meant to be good and tasty and that is dependent upon the gardener to maintain the plants they grow. Myron said pruning should be made above a bud eye. “Bud” eye refers to the area on the stem when branching occurs

Charlie enjoys planting Roses. He said that planting Roses in January is the best time of the year; for this location. He said when pruning roses you can either cut them way down or trim them a little. He pointed out that his roses need a lot of water; six gallons of water per plant per week. That is a lot of water!

To properly maintain and take care of plants when pruning and gardening, there some tools you need:

5 Must-Have Pruning Tools

Pruning not only helps keep you’re landscaping beautiful, but it’s also necessary to promote tree growth and health. In order to do your best pruning, you’ll need the right tools to get it all done.

1. Pruning shears (or pruners, clippers or secateurs)
These are probably the most-used tool when it comes to pruning shrubs, flowers, vines and small growth on trees. Pruning shears are hand-held and can cut branches and twigs up to ¾ of an inch thick.

There are three basic types of pruning shears: anvil, bypasse, and ratchets.

A bypass is the most popular of the three and acts like scissors. It is good for growing stems.
Anvil pruners feature a straight blade that uses a splitting action. They work well for dry branches and stems.
Ratchet pruners are similar to anvil pruners, but they feature a mechanism that cuts in stages. Ratchet pruners are good for those who don’t want to strain their wrists. has an article on the best hand pruners complete with information on many different brands.

2. Loppers
Great for branches up to 2 ½ inches thick and are especially useful for pruning fruit trees, nut trees, and vines. This tool is really similar to a pair of hand shears but the blades are thicker and the handle is much longer. Loppers also come in anvil, bypass and ratchet styles.

3. Pruning Saws
The next in the pruning tool line-up. Most are capable of taking on branches from about 1 ½ to 5 inches in diameter and are available in many different styles.

4. Hedge shears
Hedge shears are great if you have hedges, small shrubs, evergreens, or deadheading perennials. They can be used on any hedge shrub and cut branches up to 2 ¼ inches thick.

5. Pole Pruner
To reach dead wood in trees or for light pruning, a pole pruner (tree pruner) is a must-have. Pole pruners can generally be used on any tree and can cut through branches up to 1 ¼ inches in diameter. The best part is that most pole pruners can reach 8 feet or more, eliminating the need for a ladder in many cases. So you get to keep your feet safely on the ground. It’s also important to note that there are electric pole pruners too.

Caring for your tools

Having the right tools isn’t any good if they aren’t kept in proper working order. Keeping them clean is a top priority. Not only can tree sap gum everything up, but tree diseases can spread from tree to tree. Carry a rag in your pocket to wipe down blades between uses, and if you’ve been pruning diseased branches, wipe down the blade with alcohol before moving on to another plant.

Here is a “How to Prune Plants” two minute YouTube video

The Rotary Club of Vandenberg Village thanks, Myron and Charlie for their informative talk.