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Plant Identification and Pruning

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by iquack4u, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. iquack4u

    iquack4u LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 6

    I am wondering where I can find a fairly exhaustive resource to use to identify shrubs that would as give some pruning advice. I have a few customers with lots of overgrown shrubs. They want them cut back hard and now is the time to do it, but I am not sure how hard is safe. I certainly do not want to be responsible for dead shrubs from overpruning. Thanks for your advice.
  2. Rdizzle79

    Rdizzle79 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Believe it or not I found some great plant and garden encyclopedias in the garden/plant section at a local book store. You can even find them at the bigger ones too. Heres a hint: Usually no one buys these books so most of the time they are discounted
  3. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Take a picture of it and post it... ill identify it for you!
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    This is a great learning resourse.. when useing a plant encyclopedia..you need to know the name of what your looking for most of the time.. for begginers..I suggest a complete handbook of pruning ........and I hate Ortho books
    I also suggest "Sunset Eastern Garden Book" and "Sunset Western Garden Book" those books have a section on pruning plants and shrubs in the back of the book..
    But for the most comprehensive Encyclopedia ever
    that has lots of pics ,discription, cultivation info and pruning groups for over 15000 plants buy
    A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants..by The American Horitcultural Society..it is well worth the investment.It is the best plant encyclopedia in the world out right now..... bar none.
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    great selection at www.amerinursery.com

    take a sample to your local nursery, mine always have very knowledgeable people on staff that can help.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Makes it much more difficult to learn if you let others do your ID work for you.Plus it won't stick in your head..get a good book,look it up yourself..then if you need to confurm take a piece in.A person does not always have the time to be running back and forth from the job to the nursery to get an ID on a plant.Carry your book with you in your truck.Everybody should learn the names of the plants used and grown the most in your area,and how to care for them.A little knowlage is very profitable in this biz
  7. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Get the Dirr book of woodys plants has everything you can imagineeeeeeeee
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    dont forget your public library many of the suggested reading may be there for free
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Sheshovel has a good point, however the self-taught method is flawed if you miss identify from lack of experience. Take a sample to your nursery, but attempt to identify it first yourself. Explain to the staff you think this sample is a "Viburnum", but your not sure, and want to know the best way to prune it (hard).

    This will also help you establish a good relationship with the nursery over time.

    MANUAL OF WOODY LANDSCAPE PLANTS, by Dr. Michael A. Dirr: 5th edition, 1998 $67.95 approx.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Yes that's why I said
    "if you need to confirm,take a piece in."

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