Sarasota News Leader

08/09/2013 & 08/16/2013

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TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORNS A bull head lies on the pavement after its removal. Photos by Rick Wielgorecki PRUNING ENABLES PLANTS TO LIVE LONGER, MORE HEALTHFUL LIVES By Rick Wielgorecki Contributing Writer There comes a point in every plant's life when A bull head is a major stem that has been the attentive gardener must consider whether trimmed superficially over a long period time and has developed numerous points of growth pruning time is nigh. that repeatedly emit new sprouts. These The symptoms of a shrub or tree in need of atsprouts grow less vigorously as the plant tention include the following: plant has overages, and they may eventually begin to die. grown its space and is growing into its neigh- Most hedges that have been formally trimmed bors' area; plant is "leggy," with most of the for many years are really only a mass of bull foliage at the top and bare stems at the bot- heads in various states of health, ranging from tom; plant is physically injured or damaged by vibrant to ailing. The ailing heads are the cancold, insect infestation, disease or salt spray; didates for major pruning. plant has developed dead branches that need to be removed; plant has grown inward, with The best time to remove the less healthful branches crossing one another, and needs to heads is during or right after trimming, when be thinned; and, finally, plant has been lightly they are most evident. If you do this in the clipped for a long period of time and has de- spring, the plant will recover more quickly. When you see a head like the one in the acveloped bull heads.

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