Proper Pruning Pays Off

Outdoors

By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

Almost all shrubs in your yard require some pruning from time to time. If your landscape is gifted with a
lot of shrubbery or fruit trees, then you should take time to learn the why, when, and hows of proper
pruning. Unsightly plants often result from not pruning or pruning incorrectly.

Why prune? Pruning helps to produce attractive, well-formed compact plants. Pruning stimulates new
plant growth by forcing dormant buds to develop. Most of the new growth that develops as a result of
pruning occurs within 12 inches or so of the cuts. In some cases, pruning is done to shape plants by
removing overgrown or misshapen branches or low limbs that interfere with foot traffic and lawnmowers. Pruning also removes diseased or insect-damaged wood.

When to prune? Late February and March are excellent months for pruning most shrubs, and any over-
grown plants and fruit trees. Yes it is tempting to prune when there is nice weather in early February, but
wait as long as posible to protect the cuts from harsh cold weather. All evergreen plants and summer-
flowering shrubs should be pruned during this time, however, spring-flowering shrubs such as azaleas,
forsythia, flowering quince and dogwoods should be pruned after they have completed flowering. Pruning
these plants in February or March would remove their flower buds. As a general rule, if the plant blooms
before or at the same time as azaleas, or in the spring, prune it in the summer. If the plant blooms after
azaleas, or in the summer, prune it in the spring.

What about those huge overgrown shrubs which obstruct windows, doorways and walks? Drastic pruning
is the only answer in this situation. You can rejuvenate most overgrown shrubs by pruning them back
severely to within a foot or two above ground level. Most broadleaf shrubs, including azaleas, Japanese
hollies, Chinese hollies, camellias, gardenias, nandinas, abelias, and crape myrtles respond very well to
heavy pruning if the plants are healthy and well-established. Providing you prune at the proper time, late
February to March, a healthy broadleaf shrub has an excellent chance of recovery. Old, weak or diseased
plants, however, often cannot endure the stress of being severely pruned. These plants should probably be
replaced. Boxwood is one of the plants that you should prune with caution. It is best to remove no more
than 20% of the foliage at any one time as they are very slow to recover from heavy pruning. Light
annual pruning will prevent this overgrown condition from occurring. Plants that do not respond well to
severe pruning include junipers, cedars, yews, arborvitae, and hemlocks.

How do I prune? Although shearing is still used to shape some small-leafed shrubs like hollies and
boxwood to an attractive form, thinning of individual branches with hand pruners is the preferred method
for pruning most plants. When cutting back large limbs, a pruning saw is the best tool to use for making
clean cuts, however, you can use lopping shears to cut limbs less than one-half inch in diameter. Be sure
that your pruning tools are well-sharpened and that the cut is made flush to the larger limb or trunk. It is a
good idea to dip the pruning shears in a solution of rubbing alcohol or 1 part bleach to 9 parts water after
each cut to reduce disease transmission, especially in fruit trees.

Pruning is an annual practice for fruit trees. Proper pruning of fruit trees increases fruit set and quality.
Pruning also controls the size of the tree so that spraying and harvesting is easier. Pruning opens up the
tree so that inside leaves can receive more light, plus the tree is generally more attractive if pruned.
Remember, proper pruning is essential for maintaining healthy and attractive plants; improper pruning, on
the other hand, can be disastrous.

For more information, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization

Two State Wide Educational Conferences in Early February

Announcements, Education

Two State Wide Educational Conferences in Early February

By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

As we get into the heart of winter, often times we feel trapped in the house waiting for spring to arrive. Well perhaps not this year! If you’re interested in growing wine grapes or organic produce, there are a couple of opportunities in early February that will get you out of the house.

The annual Georgia Wine Producers Conference will take place February 4th and 5th at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia. The conference begins Monday evening the 4th with a reception (tasting) featuring Georgia wines followed by a full day of educational sessions on Tuesday the 5th. Topics discussed include fermentation, branding, wine structure, and the importance of balanced fruit. Production topics include disease and insect management, bud density, trellis structure, delayed pruning and leaf removal. Attendees can learn about regional viticulture research efforts in addition to winemaking strategies and marketing tips from academic and industry specialists from Virginia, Cornell University in NY and UGA.

The Georgia Organics Conference & Expo, set for Friday and Saturday, February 8th and 9th at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center, is an important event for farmers and others interested in organic agriculture. With demand rising for organic produce and the industry growing to meet the need, this conference down in Tifton is a pivotal event for educating organic growers in Georgia and throughout the South. According to Juan Carlos Diaz-Perez, a University of Georgia scientist in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, organic agriculture has increased in the United States by about 10 percent a year over the last 15 years. It is likely that the increase in consumer demand for certified-organic produce has led some of Georgia’s larger growers to dedicate part of their land to growing certified-organic crops, said Julia Gaskin, UGA sustainable agriculture coordinator.

Along with UGA research entomologist Jason Schmidt, Diaz-Perez, who specializes in vegetables and plasticulture, will present at the conference and share some of his research from the two certified-organic acres on the UGA Tifton campus. He will also talk about research on high-tunnel production for vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and spinach, as well as organic fertilization and utilization of cover crops. Event sessions, workshops and field trips to farms in South Georgia will be offered for attendees during the two-day event. Vanessa Shonkwiler, a public service assistant in UGA’s Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, will share marketing tips on how farmers can expand their brands and stories.

A key part of both meetings is networking with other producers and both require pre-registration which is available online. For the Georgia Wine Producers Conference, visit http://www.georgiawineproducers.org/2019-conference-registration and for the Georgia Organics Conference & Expo, visit https://conference.georgiaorganics.org/ and for more information about either conference, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Organization

Gilmer Fire and Rescue Weekly Report 2/18 – 2/24

Police & Government
Dates Emergency Med Calls (EMS) MVC (Vehicle Accidents Air Transports
2/18/18-2/24/18 102 4 2
Search/Tech. Rescue Other Total Calls
2 3 113

Author

February Public Health Inspection Scores

Health

ABBY’S ICE CREAM AND FROZEN YOGURT (Food Service Inspections)
24 SOUTH MAIN STREET STE E ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 21, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

ARBY’S #6617 (Food Service Inspections)
56 SCHOOL STREET EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30539
View inspections:
February 12, 2018 Score: 99, Grade: A

BOARDWALK PIZZA AND PUB (Food Service Inspections)
25 NORTH CHURCH STREET ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 7, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

Clear Creek Middle School (Food Service Inspections)
1020 CLEAR CREEK RD ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 7, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

COMFORT INN AND SUITES (Food Service Inspections)
234 HIGHLAND PARKWAY EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 20, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

COMFORT INN AND SUITES ( Tourist Accomodation Inspections)
234 HIGHLAND PARKWAY EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 21, 2018 Score: 98, Grade: A (2014)

Domino’s Pizza (Food Service Inspections)
91 HIGHLAND DRIVE EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 16, 2018 Score: 94, Grade: A

DOUBLE L LOG CABIN GRILL (Food Service Inspections)
2693 TAILS CREEK ROAD ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 14, 2018 Score: 96, Grade: A

FIT LIFE (Food Service Inspections)
64 SAILORS DRIVE STE 118 ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 12, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

Gilmer Co Jail (Food Service Inspections)
HWY 52 E ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 12, 2018 Score: 96, Grade: A

Gilmer Middle School (Food Service Inspections)
1860 S MAIN ST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 13, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

La Mexicana (Store Only) (Food Service Inspections)
1929 PROGRESS RD ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 12, 2018 Score: 83, Grade: B

Longhorn Steakhouse #5261 (Food Service Inspections)
30 HIGHLAND CROSSING SOUTH S EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 21, 2018 Score: 94, Grade: A

Mountain View Elementary School (Food Service Inspections)
350 CALVIN JACKSON DR ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 15, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

Mr. P’s (Food Service Inspections)
295 NORTH MAIN ST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 15, 2018 Score: 96, Grade: A

PUEBLO MEXICAN RESTAURANT (Food Service Inspections)
29 HIGHLAND DRIVE; SUITE 109 EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 19, 2018 Score: 93, Grade: A

Shane’s Rib Shack (Food Service Inspections)
289 HIGHLAND CROSSING EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 19, 2018 Score: 98, Grade: A

Stratford Motor Inn (Food Service Inspections)
79 MADDOX CIR EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 15, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

THE ALLEY OF ELLIJAY (Food Service Inspections)
449 INDUSTRIAL DRIVE STE 175 ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 21, 2018 Score: 100, Grade: A

THE SMOKEHOUSE COUNTRY GRILL (Food Service Inspections)
941 MADDOX DRIVE STE 206 EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 9, 2018 Score: 93, Grade: A

Wendy’s (Food Service Inspections)
209 HIGHLAND DRIVE EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 12, 2018 Score: 99, Grade: A

ZAXBY’S (Food Service Inspections)
143 HIGHLAND CROSSING EAST ELLIJAY, GA 30540
View inspections:
February 9, 2018 Score: 90, Grade: A

Fire and Rescue Weekly Status Report

News
Dates Structure Fires Fire Alarms Emergency Med Calls (EMS) MVC (Vehicle Accidents
2/4/18-2/10/18 1 2 89 2
Haz. Conditions Air Transports Other Total Calls
3 1 3 100

Author

This Week At Gilmer County Library: February 7, 2018 – February 14, 2018

Community

Heath Lee – Library Manager

Youth Programs

Family Story Time
Wednesday February 7 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Wednesday February 14 @ 10:30 AM & 4:00 PM
Family story times are designed for families with children of all ages. Story time is followed by a craft activity. Children must be accompanied by a participating adult.

Lego Crew
Saturday February 10 @ 2:00 PM
The Lego Club has a different theme each month. Children can work alone or in teams to make their special creation, which will be displayed in the library until next month’s meeting. All ages, under 9 years of age with an adult please.

 

Adult Programs

GCGS Monthly Presentation: Letters of the Battle of Atlanta
February 8 @ 2:00 PM
Join the Gilmer County Genealogy Society as we welcome Brian Quinlan, author, historian, and Revolutionary and Civil War Battlefield war guide as he shares and discusses letters written during the Battle of Atlanta campaign. Refreshments served at 1:30

Be A Better Driver
February 9 @ 9:30 AM
Refresh and update your driving skills. Attendance is free or you may choose to register, pay a $20 fee ($15 for AARP members) and be eligible to receive a certificate at the end of the day accepted by most insurance companies for an insurance discount. Discount eligibility is at the discretion of your insurance company.

Nutrition Know-How
Wednesday February 14 @ 9:30 AM
Learn how to eat heathy without spending a lot of money, the value of having a grocery list, what it means to eat healthy foods, and portion control to prevent weight gain. Presented by Jessie Moore, UGA Family and Consumer Services Agent.

Budgeting Basics
Wednesday February 14 @ 1:00 PM
Learn how to stretch your food dollars, the importance of
paying bills on time, and how to keep track of your spending.
Presented by Jessie Moore, UGA Family and Consumer
Services Agent.

The Friends of the Library Bookshelf

Remember that the library welcomes donations of gently read books and magazines. Those that the library does not need come to the Bookshelf, with all the proceeds benefiting the library.  Do not forget to visit the “back room” of the Bookshelf for newly stocked non-fiction and magazines.  

Bookshelf hours are from 10:30-5:30 on weekdays and from 12:00-2:00 on Saturdays

Library Location & Contact Information
Address: 268 Calvin Jackson Drive, Ellijay, GA 30540.
Phone: 706-635-4528.  Fax: 706-635-3528.
http://www.sequoyahregionallibrary.org/gilmer
https://www.facebook.com/GilmerLibrary
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9AM-8PM, Friday and Saturday 9AM-6PM.

 

Pet Dental Health

Community

February is National Pet Dental month so for the moment I would like to focus on your pets’ teeth and gums. (more…)

Author

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