Fine Gardening for Berkeley and the greater Bay Area 


pruned treeSkilled pruning is a critical part of maintaining any fine garden.  Trees, shrubs, vines, and roses all require knowledgeable pruning-- It is important to recognize each plant and know when and how to prune it aesthetically.

You have an investment in your core garden plants—when they are beautifully pruned, their natural shapes are encouraged, accentuated, and highlighted.   Proper pruning encourages strong shoots and growth, healthy foliage, and abundant bloom.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees are your investment in the future—and are the longest-lived part of your garden.  Enjoy their form and the energy they bring to your yard and let light through by removing repeating or deal limbs.  I prune trees and shrubs to fit their space-so your yard does not become crowded which also cuts off light and air flow.   Camellias are frequently hedged into tight balls (though they have absolutely lovely light gray bark), citrus trees and Japanese maples are frequently hedged or improperly pruned, trees are topped or pollarded which drastically reduces their lifespan…inconsiderate and unaesthetic pruning abounds. A poor pruning job can permanently impact the shape and look of a tree for the rest of its lifetime as well as having the potential to damage or kill it.  Evergreen and deciduous shrubs flower on old or new growth, so knowledge of each plant and when to prune it is necessary.maple

I prune trees up to 20’ high.  For larger trees, I enthusiastically recommend using the services of Brende and Lamb (  Over the years, I have been able to enjoy the beautiful trees they work on and they do so without damaging or impacting the rest of the garden.  They are master pruners and I have yet to hear of anything other than satisfied clients.


Many vines are vigorous growers, and can get huge and, once established, grow out of control quicker than you expect.   Improperly pruned vines accumulate a thick tangle of dead leaves and twigs, which get trapped inside an outer layer of live growth.

Wisteria, especially important as it is so long lived, needs thoughtful pruning to train it to a graceful core shape.  Pruning back vines at the right time, thinning and reducing old growth so that new growth can support maximum blooms, and helps vines look gorgeous and under control.


Roses, as demanding as they are, remain one of my favorites.  What else comes close to the outrageous excess of velvet, silk, and scent (besides perhaps peonies which don’t grow well in our mild climate)?   Shrub roses, hybrid teas, florabundas, hybrid musks, Austins, climbers--all need regular pruning so their form and blossoms can be optimally enjoyed, as well as harder pruning back in the winter.  Old roses that haven’t been regularly pruned need special attention and pruning as well.

Call Medea Pluim

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