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by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.

The Merry, Merry Month of May “We roamed the fields and river sides, when we were young and gay. We chased the bees and plucked the flowers, in the merry, merry month of May.” ~ Stephen Foster paint the wound with any kind of material that interferes or impedes oxygen access to the callus tissue, this will delay or even prevent wound closure. Extensive research has shown that any wound paint or tar will inhibit the formation of the callus tissue and can cause rot in the cut area. Late May is a good time to prune

So goes the first verse of the Stephen Foster song The Merry, Merry Month of May. The mountain/hammered dulcimer group I play with has several traditional Stephen Foster songs in our repertoire. Well, with May here, we can now “roam” our landscapes and gardens. If ornamental trees and shrubs in your landscape experienced winter damage, it should be apparent by now. Carefully prune out any snowdamaged branches and limbs. Once new growth emerges on trees and shrubs, cut any twigs affected by winterkill back to green wood. If you make large cuts on trees, do not “paint” the pruning wound. Pruning paint can still be found on garden retailers’ shelves, but do not use it. Trees attempt to close wounds naturally by forming callus tissue. Oxygen is necessary to enhance the callusing process. If you 83