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NMSU Extension to host free pruning workshop in Carlsbad Feb. 2

Have you ever been intimidated by pruning a tree or rose bush? New Mexico State University is here to help you figure out the how's and why's of pruning.

The Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a free pruning workshop Feb. 2 in Carlsbad at the Eddy County Extension Education Center for people to learn everything there is to know about properly pruning their trees and bushes. The workshop begins at 10 a.m.

At the workshop, participants will learn why it is necessary to prune, proper sanitation of the pruning wound, how to make the cuts, and how to decide when and where to prune.

"I often see trees that are headed, topped, stubbed or dehorned instead of being selectively pruned," said Woods Houghton, Extension agricultural agent for Eddy County. "These are forms of severe pruning that remove practically all the branches and leaf-producing organs from a tree. While this method is quicker and requires less skill than crown reduction pruning, in most cases it is less desirable."

Improper pruning can result in weakly attached branches that break easily in windstorms, and can also lead to overcrowding.

Proper maintenance of a tree requires pruning almost every year, Houghton said, and can be done with as few as three to five cuts per tree per year. But if a tree is not pruned every year, after 10 years it is not 30 to 50 cuts but 200 to 400 cuts that are required to accomplish a structurally stable tree or bush.

For more information about the workshop, or if you are an individual with a disability who is in need of auxiliary service to participate in this meeting, contact the Eddy County Extension office at 575-887-6595.