Book Review – The Pruning Book by Lee Reich

Book Review

I enjoyed this book and it was very helpful for understanding why to prune and how to do it.  Part 1 was the most helpful to me as it went over the basic principles of pruning which tend to apply to all the future chapters.  I thought the concepts were explained very well despite the fact that these concepts can be difficult to explain in written form.  There are good diagrams of many of the important concepts.

I would suggest that this book not be read cover to cover.  I would recommend carefully reading Part 1 (Chapters 1-3).  After understanding the basic principles of pruning I would recommend moving on to Part 2 and picking out the plants you want to learn about and then reading those specific sections.  There is a lot of redundancy in each section of Part 2 as many of the pruning principles apply to each type of plant.  It seems as if this section was written so that the reader would pick out the parts relevant to what they want to prune.  I would even recommend reading the relevant section just prior to when you are going to be pruning that specific type of plant.  That is what I did and I think I will learn more because of it.

Part 3 covers some specialized pruning techniques which likely will not all apply to many readers, but are definitely interesting.  I’d recommend at least skimming this section to get an understanding of the specialized techniques that are available.

Overall the book was very helpful to understand pruning.  I think I will need to put it into action, in order to totally understand the principles.  I certainly will be less intimidated by pruning jobs now that I understand the basic principles.  Understanding the reasons behind why different pruning techniques are done, allows me to now start a pruning job with confidence.

This is the only book I have read on pruning, but it is hard to imagine how it could be significantly improved upon.

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