Nancy Addison, trained botanist

The Kankakee Kultivators Garden Club met Thursday, March 14th at the Kankakee Library. The program was “Pruning and Shrub Care.” Carol Bowman, club president, introduced our speaker Nancy Addison, trained botanist and member of the Kultivator’s Club since 1998. Nancy was instrumental in the planning of the Column Garden, located at the Kankakee County  Museum.

Nancy’s first statement was, “I hate cutting! It took awhile to gain confidence.” She stated the main reasons for removal of unwanted parts of a plant include:

• Dead or diseased branches

• Control plant size

• Direct the growth

• Improve flowering

• Re-energize old plants, and

• Plant health

Her most important advice is to “know your plant.” When purchasing plants or shrubs, know what area you want to fill. Research your plant for growth before you buy. Be prepared to prune if it has big growth. When buying shrubs, bare root and burlap wrapped should be planted in the spring to allow to drop leves and develop roots, getting a head start on spring. Container shrubs can be planted anytime. Consider native plants to attract birds and butterflies.

Correct pruning cuts are a 45 degree angle and approximately ¼ inch above the buds. Pruning cuts include pinching, deadheading, thinning, heading back, rejuvenation, and shearing. Tools to include are pruning shears, loppers, hedge shears, and hand saw. Nancy asked everyone in attendance to pick branches from of the supply she brought, and practice making cuts.

Nancy recommended doing research on your individual plants to know when the best time is to prune. She suggested doing a Google search on your specific plant, talking with an expert at the garden center, and pruning books. Her favorites include “Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs” by Michael A. Dirr; and “The American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training,” by Christopher Brickell and David Joyce.

The Kultivators announce upcoming events:

April 11th, 1:00 PM – Program – “Container Gardening” by Marla Gash and Mary Prairie, Kankakee Library

May 9th, 1:00 PM – Program – “Kankakee College Horticultural Program” by Katelynn Orth, Program Director, Kankakee Library

May 19th – Kultivators Plant sale at Rhubarb Festival

June 27th – Kankakee Kultivators Garden Club Garden Walk 9 am to 5 pm; Artisan Faire 9 am – 4 pm. This is our premier event. More information coming soon. Save the date!


**Editor’s Note: If you find the story here of value, consider clicking one of the Google ads embedded in the story. It costs you nothing but Google will give the website owner a few cents. This is a way to help support local news at no cost to the reader.