There are a lot of books that try to teach you how to prune – some with more success than others.
Here are our top recommendations to help you learn more about pruning.
American Horticultural Society Pruning and Training, by Christopher Brickell and David Joyce
Revised edition (July 18, 2011), 336 pages.
This book provides a comprehensive yet easy to follow description of how plants grow, how they respond to pruning, and the correct pruning techniques for various types of plants. It’s organized by plant type so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
With excellent photos and illustration, along with descriptive and engaging text, this book is good for beginners and experts alike.
Pruning Made Easy: A Gardener’s Visual Guide to When and How to Prune Everything, from Flowers to Trees, by Lewis Hill
Published in 1998, 224 pages.
This book is part of Storey’s Gardening Skills Illustrated Series. More than 300 step-by-step illustrations demonstrate the proper techniques for pruning many varieties of plants including trees, shrubs, bushes, hedges, vines, and flowers.
The book is written in straight-forward language and describes exactly when, how, and why various plants should be pruned, the various methods of using and caring for pruning tools and equipment, how to do “artistic pruning” correctly (e.g., topiary, espalier, and cordons), and also gets into safety issues (a topic that many other books overlook).
Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning, 3rd Edition: What, When, Where, and How to Prune for a More Beautiful Garden, by Cass Turnbull
3rd edition published in 2012, 384 pages.
This isn’t your typical pruning guide in that there are no photos or color images. Instead, you get sensible, practical advice on what to do when and why, accompanied by hand-drawn (and sometimes humorous) illustrations. The book covers 160 different species – many more than the typical pruning book – so you’ll easily be able to prune whatever’s in your yard. Although it provides detailed descriptions, beginning pruners will likely want to supplement it with another book that has photos of the various pruning techniques.
Pruning Book, The: Completely Revised and Updated, by Lee Reich
2nd edition (published 2010), 240 pages.
This highly informative book has a ton of photos and illustrations. It’s written in a straightforward style that helps take the mystery out of pruning. If you’re looking for a reference book that will guide you through practically any pruning task, this is the book for you.
Pruning Made Easy: The Complete Practical Guide To Pruning Roses, Climbers, Hedges And Fruit Trees, Shown In Over 370 Photographs, by Peter McHoy
Published in 2014, 96 pages.
An easy-to-follow manual for successful pruning without stress, from basic principles to more advanced techniques. Here is pruning guidance for every type of plant, from roses and climbers to hedges, fruit trees, cordons and esapaliers, shrubs and fruit bushes. This book includes a lot of helpful images to show you exactly where and how to make your pruning cuts.
And now over to you – Which are your favorite books about pruning? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!Note: The links above are Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to buy through any of these links, I’ll make a small commission (at no additional cost to you!) to help keep this website running. Thank you!