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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Peninsula Daily News

Make the cut with heading, thinning FIRST, LET ME make it crystal clear that today we are talking only about conifers or softwood trees, evergreen trees with needles or scales only — not deciduous trees or evergreen broadleaves. You should not be pruning your rhododendrons or azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, apples, pears, plums or shade trees. But remember, your conifers are ideal to prune now, and the clippings are most desirable, as we learned last week. Today, however, I want to reemphasize the importance of pruning your conifers correctly because to do so incorrectly is to forever change, alter and most likely destroy your evergreens. All pruning is because there are only two types of cuts in all the pruning you will ever do. Can you believe that? Only two types of cuts. They are heading cuts and thinning cuts. But how these two cuts differ and especially the disparate results they each achieve or force truly make all the difference in the world. A heading cut is a cut anywhere up or down a stem, branch, trunk, stalk, limb or cane that sev-

A growing concern ers that particular plant part May somewhere between the point of origin and the tip. By cutting, you “head off” the tip, the allimportant terminal tip of that plant piece. This heading cut must be made exactly distal to a node, which is a leaf or leaf scar or a place where a branch or stem radiates off. A node is where there is growth or where new growth will occur if headed off. That’s the secret of a heading cut — it either causes new growth (e.g., branches and stems grow in a place they would not) or causes the existing and remaining branches just below the cut to grow exceedingly well as they mature to now become the new terminal tips of that plant. In easier terms, heading cuts cause plants to become far bushier, prolific, fuller, fruit-laden


and dense. Growers perform massive numbers of heading cuts of evergreen trees to transform them from the spindly native-looking trees into those so thick you can barely hang ornaments on them.

Thinning cuts A thinning cut is a cut that removes a stem, branch, trunk, stalk, limb or cane at the exact spot it radiates from. You prune it off at the place of origin, thinning that piece of plant completely from that stem, branch, trunk, stalk, limb or cane. Removing or thinning branches from a plant not only allows light and ventilation into the center of the plant, which is most desirable and advantageous, but also increases the vigor and vitality of the remaining plant parts by diverting the excess root capacity to the remaining tips where flower, fruit and new leaf production is and can occur. Now that you know these two types of cuts, let’s see how they work with your softwoods. As a whole, you do not want to head off conifers unless you are expressly going to thicken up the

plant — say in the case of junipers planted for a hedge, or pines as a visual screen, or evergreen being grown specifically for Christmas trees. Heading off conifers forever changes their growth, especially if it is the main growing tip. And never prune and head off evergreen growth that is more than 3 years old. Conifers headed off back in old growth do not sprout anew and in fact slowly die, which is why a juniper plant sheered off (headed off) along the driveway looks just as brown and dead now as it did five years ago when you first pruned it.

Fresh growth Only tip off the fresh growth, if you must. Instead, if possible, lift the branches that stick out in the driveway and thin them at the point of origin. That way, they are not only gone completely out of the driveway, but will not grow back at that spot ever again. Remember as well that when branches are growing toward the house and rubbing on the siding, a thinning cut takes care of the prob-

lem without causing new growth to come back onto the house. So clip away your evergreens, but be very, very careful to choose the right pruning cut in order to accumulate the valued added clippings in order to create masterpiece arrangements that have a winter bonus of adding the benefits of mulch to the ground, plants and bulbs below.

________ Andrew May is an ornamental horticulturist who dreams of having Clallam and Jefferson counties nationally recognized as “Flower Peninsula USA.” Send him questions c/o Peninsula Daily news, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362, or e-mail (subject line: Andrew May). Holiday lighted baskets May is offering a Peninsula College workshop on how to make lighted evergreen baskets. To enroll, phone the college at 360452-9277, or go online to www.pencol. edu and register for C-GC 046 Holiday Lighted Baskets. There will be two sessions at May’s home in Port Angeles. Classes will meet Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $72, which includes all supplies, such as evergreen boughs, cords, hangers and 1,500 lights to brighten up the dark skies. Dress warmly. The workshop will be in an outdoor carport.

Clubs and Organizations Kiwanis Clubs

day at noon at Paradise Restaurant, 703 N. Sequim Ave. For further information, phone Shell McGuire at 360-681-0805. n The Port Townsend meetings are every Wednesday at noon in the Port Townsend Elks Lodge, 555 Otto St., Port Townsend. For further information, phone Steve Taylor at 360-3852855.

in Port Angeles. TOPS 125 meets Wednesdays with weigh-in at 5:45 p.m. followed by a The weekly Clubs and Organizations listing focuses meeting at 7 p.m. at the on groups across the North Olympic Peninsula. There is Veterans Center, 216 S. no cost to have your club included. Francis St., Port Angeles Submissions must be received at least two weeks in TOPS 1163 meets advance of the event and contain the club’s name, locaWednesdays with weigh-in tion and address, times, cost if any, contact phone numat 8:45 a.m. and meeting at ber and a brief description. 10 a.m. in St. Andrew’s To submit your club’s news: Episcopal Church, 510 E. ■ E-MAIL: Send items to news@peninsuladailynews. Park Ave. com. TOPS 1493 meets ■ U.S. MAIL: PDN News, P.O. Box 1330, Wednesdays at 10 a.m., Port Angeles, WA 98362. 7 Rotary Clubs with weigh-in from ■ FAX: 360-417-3521 The seven Rotary Clubs ■ IN PERSON: At any of the PDN’s three news 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., at of the North Olympic Peninoffices. Please see Page A2 for the address of the one Jace The Real Estate Co.’s sula meet at various times nearest you in Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Sequim. meeting room, 330 E. First throughout the week, St. For further information, encouraging meeting “makephone Pat Ferns at 360ups” from visiting Rotarians. meets at noon at the 504-2143. meets at 7:15 a.m. at SeaHere are the clubs and TOPS 1296 meets Monport Landing, 1201 Hancock Masonic Lodge, 1338 Jeffertheir meeting times and days with weigh-in at St., Port Townsend. son St., 360-385-5688. locations: Port Angeles Rotary Club 10:30 a.m. followed by an n Wednesdays: Port n Tuesdays: Port 11 a.m. meeting at 2531 E. meets at noon upstairs at Townsend Sunrise Rotary Townsend Rotary Club the Port Angeles CrabHouse Helm Drive; phone Carol Packer, 360-452-1790. Restaurant, 221 N. Lincoln For further information St. about all chapters, phone n Thursdays: East Jefferson County Rotary meets Maria Goss, area captain, at 11:45 a.m. at the Tri-Area at 360-275-2179. Community Center, 10 West Valley Road, Chimacum. Boys & Girls Clubs Sequim Rotary Club The Mount Angeles meets at noon at the Elks Unit of Boys & Girls Clubs Club, 143 Port Williams of the Olympic Peninsula Road, Sequim. meets regularly weekdays n Fridays: Port Angeles from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Nor’wester Rotary meets at 2620 S. Francis St. 7 a.m. at the Olympic MediFor information on cal Center cafeteria, 939 membership, phone 360Caroline St., Port Angeles. 417-2831. Sequim Sunrise Rotary meets at 7 a.m. at SunLand Dream Machines Golf & Country Club, 109 The Peninsula Dream Hilltop Drive, Sequim. Machines will meet Sunday at 11 a.m. at Fairview Weight Watchers Grange, 161 Lake Farm Sequim meetings, at 150 Road. E. Bell St., are at the followFor more information, ing times: Mondays at phone 360-452-3597. 9:30 a.m. and noon, Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and VW club 5:30 p.m., Fridays at Strait Air Volksgruppe, 9:30 a.m. and Saturdays at a club for Volkswagen own9:30 a.m. Port Angeles meetings, at ers and enthusiasts, will 513 S. Lincoln St., are at the meet Sunday at noon at following times: Mondays at Joshua’s Restaurant, 113 DelGuzzi Drive. 6 p.m., Wednesdays at For further information, 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays at phone 360-452-5803. 9:30 a.m. Port Townsend meetings, Tennis club meets at the Madrona Business Center, 2500 Sims Way, are The Peninsula Tennis at the following times: Mon- Club, a nonprofit Commudays at 6:30 p.m. and nity Tennis Association, Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. meets regularly for free The club requests that community play at Erickmembers arrive 30 minutes son Park, Fourth and Race before the meeting time to streets. register. The Peninsula Tennis Meetings usually last Club promotes tennis play Ticket Information less than one hour. and supports improveBallet Workshop Productions Pre-Sale Ordering Additional information is ments to tennis facilities in available at 800-374-9191 or Clallam County. P.O. Box 1903 By Mail only through at For information on club Port Angeles, WA 98362 activities, visit the website November 10th at www.peninsulatennis or phone 360-460th Port Angeles Presale Pricing After November 10 2588.

Three Kiwanis clubs meet every Thursday in Port Angeles. n The Olympic Kiwanis Club meets at 7 a.m. weekly at the Cornerhouse Restaurant, 101 E. Front St. n The Juan de Fuca Kiwanis Club meets at 10 a.m. at the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St. n The Port Angeles Kiwanis club meets at noon at the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center, Eighth and B streets, Port Angeles. For more information, visit the club website at www. Other Kiwanis clubs meet in Sequim and in Port Townsend. n Sequim-Dungeness meetings are every Thurs-

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There are four weekly meetings of TOPS groups

The Port Angeles Toastmasters Club 25 meets

Alzheimer’s group The Port Angeles Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group, for caregivers, family members and friends of those suffering from memory loss, meets the second Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the Port Angeles Senior Center, 328 E. Seventh St. The support group, which is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, provides a confidential, comfortable setting in which participants share experiences, discuss concerns and obtain information about the disease. For more information, phone the group facilitator, Mardell Xavier, at 360-4775511 or e-mail mxavier@

Garden club meets Port Angeles Garden Club will meet Monday at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave. The business meeting will begin at 10 a.m., with President Mary Lou Paulson presiding. As November marks the 75th anniversary of the club in Port Angeles, a brief history will be presented, and past presidents in attendance will be introduced. The program will be presented by members of the Olympic Peninsula Judges Council, who will share floral design ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Several workshops are planned as garden club members prepare for the annual sale of wreaths, swags, crafts and baked goods, scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Co-chair Audreen Wiliams encourages members to bring wreath and swag pre-order forms to the Monday meeting.

Quilters meet Peninsula Quilters members make baby quilts for needy newborns and meet the second and fourth Mondays of every month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 110 E. Seventh St. Members have set a goal of 100 quilts a year. For more information, phone Hayes Wasilewski at 360-457-8051. Turn



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Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Clallam Transit Office, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd. For further information, phone Bill Thomas at 360460-1040 or Leilani Wood at 360-683-2655.