18 year old Weeping Beech
Over a dozen hours of pruning workshops and professional development, hundreds of hours of pruning professionally and thousands of hours of work doing all phases of landscape gardening have shaped me into a highly qualified pruner and an extremely efficient worker.
Over the course of my career, I've been exposed to the whole spectrum of woody plants that grow in our hardiness zone. I've pruned ubiquitous plants such as Japanese Maples, Crab Apples and Magnolias, as well as more esoteric ornamental plants, such as Japanese Stewartia, Hinoki False Cypress and Chionanthus Retusus (Chinese Fringe Tree). I've had the privilege and experience of working on the same trees and shrubs for many consecutive years, which has allowed me to see the benefits and results of proper tree & shrub care and maintenance.
With so much experience, I have become efficient. Beginning pruners should spend significantly more time looking and thinking about which cuts to make, than they spend actively pruning. With 13 years of pruning experience, I no longer need to spend much time looking and planning. I see a woody plant and immediately I can identify what changes are necessary for its health and what changes I'd like to make for it's aesthetic appeal. I'm always thinking about how to accomplish my work and clean up with as little wasted effort and time as possible. When you hire me, you will see that I'm constantly in motion and when I'm not, I'm focusing on what I need to do next.
Landscape pruning is equal parts science and art. The challenge in becoming an efficient, professional pruner is whether you can always keep both in the forefront of your mind and give close to equal weight to each.
The knowledge I have gained from my experience allows me to make informed, deliberate choices when pruning. I will use that knowledge to help improve the health of any woody plants on your property that you hire me to work on. This includes knowing what time of year to prune for each species and how the plants will respond to pruning based on that timing. For example, a summer-flowering tree that is healthy but is putting on way too much growth should be pruned in the summer, as that is the time of year to rein in growth without as much responsive growth. In contrast an unhealthy summer-flowering shrub that needs to be rejuvenated, ought be pruned in the winter dormancy period, as it will respond with a strong flush of growth in the spring and summer.
Artistically, my favorite look to attain with many species is influenced by the Japanese art of bonsai. When possible, I strive to achieve a look of "giant bonsai" plants. When I prune a lace-leaf Japanese Maple, I want to give it the care and attention to detail as its bonsai cousins. I like to show glimpses into the structure of the pruned plants.