Book Review – Essential Pruning Techniques

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers
Authors: George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham
Photographs: Andrea Jones
Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 978-1-60469-288-4

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham, with photographs by Andrea Jones, is published by Timber Press.

The first edition of the reference book, Essential Pruning Techniques was written by George E. Brown (1917-1980).  George was the assistant curator at Kew and a founding member of the Arboricultural Association.  The original book was published in 1972; for over forty years this book was the go-to reference for pruning.  This new edition has been revised, expanded, and expertly updated by Kew Gardens’ Head of Arboretum, Tony Kirkham, to form the new pruning bible!  This latest edition has been improved to now include the findings of modern day horticultural research undertaken at Kew.  Another enhancement that both novice and experienced gardeners will benefit from, is the addition of numerous clear and explanatory photographs, taken by Andrea Jones, which enhance every page, to beautifully illustrate this fantastic book and further help and assist the gardener with their understanding of pruning.

If you’ve ever wondered how to achieve a beautifully pruned framework for your plants, Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham will have the answer.

Weighing in at 1.7KG (3lb 11oz) Essential Pruning Techniques is a substantial tome containing 408 pages, which are jam-packed full of interesting information about pruning trees, shrubs, and conifers!  This is a truly wonderful book that would make a great gift for both amateur and professional gardeners alike.  Whatever a gardener’s experience, they will benefit greatly from the wealth of information found inside this absolutely fabulous book!  There’s detailed, clear, and coherent advice and information on how to prune plants, but there’s also fantastic instructions on how to plant a tree in the most beneficial way.

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham, is greatly enhanced with photographs by Andrea Jones. The reader can clearly see what is being advised for each plant, as a consequence the reader will be able to confidently translate this knowledge into new found skills to benefit their own garden.

Essential Pruning Techniques features two sections; the first of these explains and illustrates the principles of pruning, taking the reader through a whole range of techniques and skills, covering everything from planting and cultivation, hedge and topiary management, cutting techniques, tool maintenance, and fruit tree pruning and training.

George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham’s book, Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers contains clear, detailed information on all aspects on pruning, from which pruning tools to use, to pruning methods and techniques to adopt.

The second section of this book is the main part: an A to Z of pruning advice for hundreds of different plant genera.  For every genus listed in Essential Pruning Techniques there is information provided about the plant’s habit and attributes, reasons of why you would prune the plant in question are listed, the goals you’re looking to achieve by pruning are clearly explained, alongside explanations of the best time to prune each plant.  This is followed by a detailed section on the approach and process for pruning plants from that particular plant genus.   A full page is dedicated to most of the genera listed in this book, however some of the larger genera, which encompass many different species – for example Acer – have many more pages devoted to them.  Essential Pruning Techniques contains detailed pruning information on how to prune 379 woody plants!

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham, contains information on how and when to prune all manner of trees and shrubs, from the smallest to the largest specimens. Fruit trees, Wisteria, Acers, oaks, and hedges: learn how to prune these and almost 400 other woody plants!

Essential Pruning Techniques is by far the best pruning book I have found.  It’s hard to think of a way that this book could be improved, it really is a lovely, detailed, user friendly reference book and the only guide to pruning you’ll need.

Essential Pruning Techniques would make a fabulous gift for a person taking on a new garden or re-vamping an old garden.  Essential Pruning Techniques is a truly fabulous book, it’s an incredibly useful, valuable book, full of pruning inspiration for any gardener, both novice and professional.

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham contains easy to follow information on how to prune both decorative and edible plants.

Even knowledgeable, experienced gardeners consider pruning to be a rather daunting task.  The simple fact that once you’ve pruned away part of your tree, shrub, or conifer, there’s no way to re-attach your prunings, can make even the thought of pruning feel rather daunting!  Consequently pruning is more likely to be put off than relished.  I am certain that this wonderful book, Essential Pruning Techniques will inform gardeners in such an easy to follow, helpful manner that it will help gardeners to transform their hedges, shrubs, trees, conifers, and topiary, to beautifully enhance their gardens.

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham contains clear, detailed advice on how to prune all manner of trees, hedges, shrubs, and conifers.

I am a huge fan of Tony Kirkham’s work, so I expected Essential Pruning Techniques to be a great book, it has however beaten my expectations, I am so impressed with every part of this book, from the detailed information provided, to the layout and photography, to the step-by-step pruning guides, every part of the content of this book is fantastic!

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham would make a super gift for a gardener of any ability, from novice to professional. Whatever style of garden you favour, Essential Pruning Techniques will help you prune your trees, shrubs, conifers, fruit, topiary, and hedges, to achieve your goals.

The size and weight of Essential Pruning Techniques is such that you may wish to purchase this book from your local bookshop if you intend to give this gift in person or keep this book for yourself.  If you’re looking for a gift to send to a loved one, then this book would be a great choice of purchase from an online retailer – you could save on postage, time, and wrapping by ordering online and sending directly to the recipient of your gift.  Either way, I am sure that everyone who purchases, receives, or reads Essential Pruning Techniques will enjoy this wonderful book immensely!

Readers will find all manner of useful and interesting information on how to prune both edible and decorative plants inside George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham’s new book, Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers.

Essential pruning techniques provides detailed information on how to prune both edible and decorative plants, which are listed in alphabetical order, by the plant’s latin name.  Whether you’re taking your time reading this book during a relaxing evening, or rushing to find information of when and how to prune a plant before you head off out to work, you will quickly be able to find all the information you need.  This is an incredibly useful, valuable book, which will help gardeners of all ages and experience, for many years to come.

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham would make a fabulous gift for any gardener, from a novice gardener who is discovering plants for the first time, to a seasoned professional.

Essential Pruning Techniques would be a great book to borrow from the library to learn how to care for the trees in your garden.  But, from the start to the end of writing this review, I have been thinking, ‘Buy this book, you will not regret it – Essential Pruning Techniques is an absolutely fantastic book!  This is the new testament of pruning bible!’  Essential Pruning Techniques really is a most splendid book, whether you purchase Essential Pruning Techniques as a gift for yourself, or for a loved one, you’re sure to be grateful for the chance to acquire such an informative and helpful book.

Essential Pruning Techniques for Trees, Shrubs, and Conifers by George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham, with photographs by Andrea Jones, is published by Timber Press.

To read more information about George E. Brown and Tony Kirkham’s book, Essential Pruning Techniques, on Timber Press, the book’s publisher’s website, please click here.

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To read my review of Jeff Lowenfels’ book, Teaming with Nutrients, please click here.

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To read my review of Hugh McAllister and Rosalyn Marshall’s book, Hedera: The Complete Guide, please click here.

To read my review of Katie Scott and Kathy Willis’ book, Botanicum, please click here.

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