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Lubera stops plant deliveries to the UK
Due to Brexit, we are not able to deliver to the UK. We are working on a solution on how we can continue to bring a wide range of Lubera plants to the UK and directly to our customers' homes in the future. However, such a solution will not be available before 2022 or 2023.

10 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to Prune Now - Refuted

Since the end of February/beginning of March I have received several emails about what, how and why to prune. A surprising number of messages are, interestingly, not really about how one could now prune, but many customers are actually just anxious to get an absolution from me that they now do not, no longer, do not yet, or don’t have to prune at is always a joy to see how many reasons we can come up with for not doing something. Procrastination is everywhere. And I am no exception: I am writing this newsletter article at the last possible moment, so to speak, after the deadline. ;-)


To put it once and for all - and officially - NOW is the right time to prune for most plants. It’s a fact.

In this newsletter I want to concentrate for once on refuting all the reasons that I hear so often for not-pruning:

  1. We didn’t prune in autumn, and thus missed the best time. It's certainly correct to wait until next autumn now, right? Ha, of course, and then another year, and again another year...not having done something is certainly not a sufficient reason not to catch up on it now. This smells like laziness, but is cleverly disguised. We will block the argumentative way out right now, which allows the perpetual motion of procrastination: basically and for almost all plants, spring (late February to early April) is the best time to prune.

  2. The plants we should actually prune have already started to grow. It's for sure too late now and we better wait until next spring. Again, it’s one’s own laziness that is the reason why we don’t do something. Because I did not do it, I no longer have to do it. This reasoning is almost ingenious: the procrastinator pulls himself/herself out of the swamp by his/her own hair. Because I have already postponed the pruning, I can continue to postpone it!

  3. My wife/my husband says now is not the time! Well, that does not really sound totally honest. But this is how it is in real life...and when do we otherwise listen to our husband or wife? Whenever his/her argument is fitting for us.

  4. My neighbour is also not pruning. Well, I could repeat the above comment for this statement, too. However, our neighbour is less close to us than our own partner. Therefore his/her authority probably is even higher. Or is it? Something is also interesting for this case: when one does something because their neighbours also did it, this is psychologically understandable. But when you don’t do something just because your neighbour didn’t do it, this is quirky. If anything, one would actually expect a backlash, a defiant adversary. But wait: actually, it's only just about the pseudo-objective and retrospective justification of one’s own procrastination. And the neighbour gets to take the blame at all times. 

  5. I do not know how to prune, so I better not! This is almost Socratic. I know that I know nothing ...therefore I will stay in the position I’m in. That was yet another ancient philosopher...not-knowing is not a sufficient reason for non-action, but for wise action. I learn only when I prune and then the reaction, the result of watching, and again the consequences for pruning are this: trial and error. Doing nothing leads most likely to nothing.

  6. I do not know how to prune, so I will call a landscaper. I have to be very careful here...I think landscapers are not a very good solution when it comes to pruning. As a fruit grower I can say only this: landscapers often prune incorrectly, especially fruit trees, because for them it’s not about the fruit, only the plant. To be more precise: they almost always prune the fruit trees too harshly, at the expense of the fruit set.

  7. I love my plants and I just can’t see to have them pruned! It is hard to believe how often this argument is contrary to pruning. Several years ago, Falko Berg and I travelled through the country every Saturday and pruned the plants of Lubera customers and filmed what we did. Quite often the garden owners stood near us, pleasantly surprised, but almost trembling with fear (because of their plants). Only the authority of the camera lens prevented them to come between my scissors and their plants (well now, that's enough). Perhaps it is precisely this fear that in many cases got us coffee and cake: if you drink, eat and talk, you can’t prune=harm more plants...

  8. Years ago, I pruned my vines, my kiwi in the spring and they cried forever. I do not want to do that to them again. As with the last point, this is all about the humanisation of the plant. One can naturally discuss this. But one should also remember that plants in contrast to humans and animals have a big advantage: the omnipotence of the cell and small cellular tissues from which an entire, intact plant can regrow at any time. That which we cut is not irretrievably lost.

  9. If I prune, I certainly make the wrong cuts. So I just don’t prune. This is pure defeatism. Surrendering from the start. One can actually only prune incorrectly, if one knows how to correctly prune in the first place. And if you knew that, then there is really no reason to cut wrong... in reality, it is quite different: there is no right or wrong and many roads lead to Rome. My teacher in the orchards (Christian Krebs) did not prune like many of his colleagues, but he produced beautiful apples and they had enough fruits on them. It is probably really the process that leads to the best results: I prune, the tree responds, I will check the result and adjust my actions if needed...

  10. You once said that most people prune too much rather than too little in their gardens! Touché. Yes, I did say that, but I was especially talking about fruit trees. But I have definitely not said that you should not prune, but just as little as necessary. But I admit: laziness and gardening with little effort is ideal for me. Procrastination (now you know what that means) leads à la longue to rather more work and less fun.

  11. As hard as it is, I will do without points 11 to 13. I have to finally deliver my already overdue article, otherwise our new editor Lesya will send me to procrastination therapy. 

And if you want additional tips and tutorials, there are literally hundreds of videos on a variety of plants that we have filmed. Two weeks ago, we maintained and pruned our Mundraub gardens in Ippenburg and of course we also filmed everything. Here it is:

How to Prune a Roseasy Miniclimbing Rose?
How to Prune a Firstberry Bush?
How to Prune a Nectarine Columnar Tree?
How to Prune a Navaho Blackberry Bush?
How to Prune a 2 years Old Gooseberry & Currant Spindle Tree?
How to Prune a Fourberry Bush?


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