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Cass Turnbull's Guide to Pruning: What, When, Where, and How to Prune for a More Beautiful Garden Paperback – January 26, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (January 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570613168
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570613166
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,360,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is an excellent guide for beginners or experienced pruners, and represents quite a departure from the average pruning book format and formula. Pruning book authors should take heed of the fact that the information in this book is highly USABLE and approachable. Do not be deterred if you don't know who Cass Turnbull is or never heard of Sasquatch Books. This is a little gem that you will miss if you only buy your books at the local chain bookstore.
Cass Turnbull has been pruning and teaching about it for probably 20 years, and the book represents the voice of all that experience and skill. Translated, that means she not only knows how to prune, but she can also teach others to do it. She started Plant Amnesty, a Seattle-based nonprofit devoted to stopping the senseless mutilation through mal-pruning of shrubs and trees. People in the Northwest know her and love her; in my opinion, she deserves to become well known in the rest of the country.
Cass provides lots of details but they are very easy to understand. The book contains thorough instructions (several PAGES each) on pruning a commonly-used landscaping shrubs and vines. See the book's table of contents to find out if the plants you want to prune are included.
I think the book's subtitle should be "Pruning for the Real World." I find that the key impressive feature of this book is that it integrates the theoretical "selective heading cut" and "thinning cut" type info with the real-life experience of crawling around in shrubs and deciding what to cut. In the real world, shrubs that should never be sheared are cut into geometric forms regularly, or, people get busy and neglect their shrubs and then try to figure out what to do about them..
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cass Turnbull is to pruning and informed gardening today what Thalassa Cruso was to the 1970s and 80s - a botanical Julia Child whose depth of knowledge is matched only by her common sense and wit.

In this inexpensive, indispensable book subtitled "What, When, Where & How to Prune for a More Beautiful Garden" Turnbull takes the no nonsense approach to both the inexperienced and highly skilled gardener, and with her straight forward writing explains in easy to understand terms how to make plants, bushes and trees look and feel their best.

One could quibble with the paucity of illustrations, but that may just be part of Turnbulls' technique: if you are serious about learning this art of pruning, then invest the time in the reading. She has a profound respect for plants (she is the founder of PlantAmnesty based in Seattle) and encourages the fearful first-cutter to look, feel and tend to plants and their shaping needs like a caring surgeon.

There are few dos and don'ts that Turnbull doesn't cover in this helpful manual. And in the end she instructs us with such wry wit and goodwill that we feel we've communed with Mother Earth! Grady Harp, January 2005
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By PA on May 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
End the senseless mutilation of trees and shrubs. Clear, concise, and with a sprinkle of good humor to boot. From PlantAmnesty ([...]) founder Cass Turnbull, this pruning guide is a must for gardeners everywhere!

If you can get a hold of a copy, I also recommend the out-of-print book "The Complete Guide to Landscape Design, Renovation, and Maintenance: A Practical Handbook for the Home Landscape Gardener"

updated 3/21/2006: new editions of both books mentioned in this review are now available.
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