It isn’t every day that we meet someone who exudes both intelligence and passion in their chosen profession; but, when we do those people leave and indelible impression upon us that is hard to ignore. One such person that encompasses these qualities and shares them with anyone who is willing to listen is Cass Turnbull. If you are a native to the Pacific Northwest you may have heard her name before. Cass is the founder of Plant Amnesty, an organization created to end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs caused by mal-pruning. Her latest book, Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning 3rd Edition, is a wonderful read about proper pruning which induces humor, intelligence and understanding about how to prune for a more beautiful garden. I believe every gardener and landscape professional should have a copy of this book, if for nothing more than to use as a quick accurate reference guide to proper pruning. However, taking the time to actually read the book offers the value of proper pruning techniques that will save time, money, heartache and embarrassment.
Turnbull’s passion goes without saying; but, to elaborate on what I mean about her humor and intelligence, here is an excerpt from her book that explains the other 10 Commandments:
- Thou shalt not shear thy bush.
- Thou shalt not top thy tree.
- Thou shalt not plant thy sun lover in the shade, nor thy shade lover in the sun.
- Thou shalt mulch.
- Thou shalt not leave stubs.
- Thou shalt not flush cut, neither shalt thou paint wounds.
- Thou shalt not cover up the base of thy plant, or thy tree, or thy shrub. Neither with mulch, nor with soil, nor with any landscape material.
- Thou shalt cut circling/girdling roots.
- Thou shalt not compact the root zone of thy tree, nor trench near the trunk of thy tree.
- Thou shalt not weed-whip the trunk of thy tree, nor bash it with thy mower, nor leave anything tied on thy tree or the branches of thy tree, as is done in the land of the philistines.