I am days away from my due date, so there is no way I’m getting up in a ladder to prune our backyard fruit trees this year. My googling brings up lots of fruit tree pruning classes in the area, but not much on which tree service companies are skilled at pruning fruit trees. Anyone have good people to recommend?
I highly recommend Kathy Holzer’s firm (http://outonalimbseattle.com/). She and her team pruned our enormous, beautiful old cherry and pear trees a couple of years ago and did a fantastic job. We had obtained quotes from a variety of ISA-certified arborists and her rates were comparable. After interviewing them all we decided felt most confident in Kathy’s experience, and we were very happy with every aspect of our interaction with her – from the initial callback, visit for the bid, pruning, cleanup, and final invoice. We’ll never use anyone else.
Gracie, Ciscoe Morris says that the best time to prune is when you have your pruners with you. In other words, better to prune at kind of the right time than not at all.
The PlantAmnesty event will have better info, but in general, you can go by the following:
Fruit trees: while the tree is dormant in the winter (November-ish until buds start swelling in the spring). Very vigorous trees (like Asian plums) can take another pruning in the summer after the fruit harvest.
Lilacs: I’d go right after flowering to minimize the number of flowers you lose. It’s hard to hurt lilacs, so don’t worry too much about timing.
Rhodies and other flowering shrubs: Defer to a Sunset book or another expert.
Sky Nursery will be offering pruning demonstrations from 9-4 on Saturday, and it looks like they’re free!
Also looks like they will do 15 minute design consults too. Bring your pictures.
Check out their website.