Though this Landscape Plants site is from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the information is relevant for pruning and general tree care anywhere. Click on Pruning (under Trees) for an extensive, easy-to-understand resource for pruning. Winter is an excellent time to prune woodies. Dr. Ed Gilman's presentations (including specifics on structural, thinning, and reducing cuts) can be downloaded and printed to distribute or take (with hand saw) to your tree of choice.
This site also covers selecting trees from the nursery, tree biology, planting trees, and more. For those of us who tend to think short-term, there's also a Big Picture strategy. Under "Design A Plan" for training a shade tree, the site wisely notes: "Begin pruning at planting and continue for 25 years. This strategy will provide a good branch and trunk structure." A quarter-century -- that's thinking ahead.
Shows & Events
Mid-January is the height of owl mating season. If you give a hoot, join the Owl Prowl on Sat., January 27, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy's Mill Road in Philadelphia. Learn about the natural history of owls in the area and dissect an owl's pellet to see what the bird's eaten. For info, call (215) 482-7300, or visit: http://www.schuylkillcenter.org.