Educate Your Customers about the Science of Properly Pruning Shrubs and Trees with Dr. Bob Polomski

Introduction and Background

The webinar is hosted by Dr. Bob Polomski, an extension specialist and professor of landscape horticulture at Clemson University. He emphasizes the importance of both the art and science of pruning, highlighting the need for experience and knowledge in this field.

Importance of Pruning

Pruning is crucial for maintaining plant health, aesthetics, and growth control. It also helps in reducing disease threats and preventing insect infestations.

Pruning Techniques

Dr. Polomski discusses various pruning techniques, including natural system, espalier, topiary, and pollarding. He explains the benefits and drawbacks of each, emphasizing the importance of choosing the right technique based on the plant’s needs and the desired outcome.

Pruning Timing

Pruning should be done at the appropriate time of year to minimize stress on plants. For example, deciduous trees should be pruned in the spring before they leaf, while summer-flowering shrubs should be pruned in early spring before they bud. Fruit trees should be pruned in late winter while they’re still dormant but before the buds begin to swell.

Pruning Tools and Equipment

It’s important to use sharp tools and disinfect pruning equipment with alcohol before using it on another tree or shrub to reduce the spread of disease. Wound dressings or pruning paints are generally unnecessary and can impair the natural wound closing process.

Customer Education

Dr. Polomski stresses the importance of educating customers about the science and art of pruning. This includes explaining the benefits of proper pruning, the importance of timing, and the correct tools and techniques to use.


The webinar concludes with a call to action for professionals to educate their customers about the importance of proper pruning practices. This includes understanding the science behind pruning, choosing the right technique, and timing the pruning correctly to ensure plant health and aesthetics.

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