Pruning Class With Plant Amnesty

Pruning Class in Seattle

This weekend I attended a hands-on pruning workshop sponsored by Plant Amnesty.  It was great!  We met at a community park/garden in Seattle and there was so much to do!  Overgrown shrubs, trees where they didn’t belong, weeds and perennials and invasives, we had it all.  At first it was completely overwhelming, but by the end of the day it was amazing what thirty people could do.  We swept through, clearing, pruning, removing, and considering each plant.  We had eight teachers, each with expertise in different horticultural fields, so there was a lot of knowledge and information available throughout the day.  It was invaluable always having someone just around the next shrub with suggestions of what and how to prune.  I learned a lot!  I was excited to have my first pruning cut demonstrated to me by Cass Turnbull who wrote the book on pruning (Literally, she wrote a great book Guide to Pruning, which I refer to all the time!)

Plant Amnesty of Seattle is an organization that provides educational materials, classes and public service.  It’s mission statement:  To end the senseless torture and mutilation of trees and shrubs.  It sounds funny, but their goals are entirely worthy of respect.  It’s a good organization, I just joined!

  • alert and educate the public
  • encourage proper pruning techniques
  • improve landscape management practices
  • promote awareness and respect for plants
  • volunteer in our communities
  • provide a free referral/reference service


Bradner Gardens Park is a beautiful spot (especially now that it’s properly pruned!) in Seattle.  This exceptional garden was  created by a partnership between gardeners from the Pea-Patch, King County Master Gardners, Seattle Tilth and Washington Native Plant Society.  I saw a Seven Sons tree there, for the first time, and lots of other interesting plants that were well beyond the ever-present rhododendron.  The tools of choice for the intrepid pruner are a good pair of hand pruners like my well-used felcos below, loppers and a pruning saw.  We accomplished almost everything with this trusty trio.

My baby…My Felco Pruners!

6 thoughts on “Pruning Class With Plant Amnesty

  1. What a great class! I’d love to do something like this. I’ll have to check into it and see when they are going to do this again. I’d love to learn this kind of stuff from the masters.

    1. The book is great, so easy to read and follow, with a bit of humor thrown in. We were talking about water sprouts and some plants tendency to develop them after pruning and they said about a witchhazel, just walk by it with a pair of pruners and it will watersprout, it’s that sensitive! Ha!

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