Learn the art and skill of pruning and shaping your trees.

Fruit trees are pruned for a variety of reasons- to increase fruit production, thin the canopy to reduce disease prevalence, and to encourage the tree to produce fruit where you can pick it- to name just a few. Learn why, when, and where to make pruning cuts on your trees. I also offer instruction on ornamental trees.
Hand saw cherry- Jen's photo

$350 for a lesson, up to 4 people. Additional people are $50 each, up to 8 people total. This covers up to an hour and a half of instruction and includes some hands on pruning of your tree(s). Additional time is $95 hr ($75 x hour for community gardens, schools, and other non-profits).


Instruction by Lee Harrison-Smith, an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Risk Assessor, Permaculture Design Course graduate, Master Gardener course completion, and generally a plant and mushroom enthusiast. With over 25 years observing and caring for trees and plants in the Pacific Northwest .
Hand pruners- apple

A few notes on pruning times:
There are two general times of the year that it’s best to prune fruit trees, dormant (winter) and summer.
Most people prune when the tree is dormant because it’s easier to see what and where you are cutting. But it is often forgotten that dormant pruning has a stimulating effect on the growth of the tree. That means you are encouraging new growth the next growing season- most noticeably directly below where branches were removed. This is very useful and desirable in many cases, but not all. Sometimes you may want to slow the growth of the tree. “I want to keep it small” I often hear clients say- this is when summer pruning is called for.

Summer pruning has a dwarfing effect, meaning you can control the shape and size of your tree (and thus where the fruit grows) without it sending up hundreds of water-sprouts (the vertical fast growing shoots) the next year, as it potentially would if pruned while dormant. The growing season is also a good time to prune especially vigorous young trees that may be getting too big for their space or producing fruit out of reach. Pruning in the summer can begin to stop the endless cycle of pruning out hundreds of water-sprouts and suckers every winter, only to have them come back in force the next year.
Prune a fruit tree and you feed a person for a season, teach a person to prune, and feed them for a lifetime.


Credentials & Experience

ISA Certified Arborist (PN-7159A)
Bonded, Insured, and Licensed (FirstLD897NC)
Permaculture Design Course certificate holder
B.S. in Northwest Ecology
Extensive knowledge of native NW plants and fungi
References available on request
Free estimates & flexible hours


First Leaf Tree Care
Lee Harrison-Smith

Serving the Seattle area and the Skagit Valley.