Pruning workshop being held Sept. 13

August 29, 2014

By Sylvia Stevens

A pruning workshop for homeowners will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Greenwood Township Hall, 3447 W. Temple Drive, Harrison.

“It is really critical for homeowners to prune properly and/or be aware of proper pruning techniques so any tree workers they hire are doing it correctly,” Clare Conservation District forester Jocelyn Mahone said.

The workshop is sponsored by ReLeaf Michigan, the Clare County Conservation District, and the DNR ‘s Urban and Community Forestry Program and will cost $10 to attend.

The Workshop will be taught by Ray Jennings, manager of Whiting Forest. Ray Jennings is an ISA certified arborist with experience in tree care, vegetation management, woodlot management and timber harvesting. He will explain the correct way to prune trees and shrubs to keep them healthy and free of disease. Participants will learn the basics of pruning, including the biology of a tree, proper timing for pruning, and how to make a proper cut.

“He’ll be talking about proper way to make pruning cuts and where to make them and how much,” Mahone said. “It’s really important because one of the structures we will cover during this workshop is the branch collar and that is where the tree is able to seal itself off from decay. If you cut too far from the branch collar or cut the branch collar off you are opening your trees up for decay.”

The workshop will start with a presentation followed by a hands-on workshop. Participants will get to try their hand at pruning at a nearby property. Participants will caravan to the pruning location.

“There will be some small trees that we will be able to prune on Larry Gross’ property,” Mahone said. “He is the chairmen of the board here at the conservation district. He is very generous and will allow some of the homeowners to practice on some of his trees.”

Afterwards the group can join the ask the arborist session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. where Jennings will take questions concerning pruning and pruning issues.

“That will be the chance for people to bring in pictures and plant samples and ask Ray what might be going on with them,” Mahone said.

Participants with hand pruners are encouraged to bring them. There will be some hand pruners available at the event for people who do not have them.

All checks must be made payable to ReLeaf Michigan and mailed to 1100 N. Main St., Suite 105, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. For more information, call 1-800-642-7353 or email, or visit or

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