DECATUR, IL – One of the keys to producing fruits in your home orchard or garden is yearly pruning during the dormant season. Proper pruning can increase fruit quality, reduce the occurrence of diseases and improve plant longevity, but many people are nervous about pruning or too heavy-handed with the clippers.

This March, University of Illinois Extension is providing a workshop with hands-on pruning practice. Local Foods Extension Educator Doug Gucker will demonstrate proper techniques for pruning trees and brambles to increase fruit production and encourage tree health.

The workshop costs $10 and will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 14 in rural Mt. Zion. The address will be sent to participants after they register. Workshop space is limited. Participants should sign up by March 7 online or by calling the Macon County Extension Office at (217) 877-6042. For more information, contact Doug Gucker at the Extension office or by email at

This is a hands-on, outdoor workshop. Participants should wear suitable clothing and bring pruning tools such as loppers, hand pruners or hand shears if possible. In the event of inclement weather, backup date has been set for March 21.

Local Food Systems and Small Farms is University of Illinois Extension program that provides research-based information about agriculture health and safety, environmentally and economically sound pest control and improving profitability and sustainability. Follow Doug Gucker on Twitter.



Doug Gucker
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
Macon Extension Office
3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd., Decatur, IL 62521
(217) 877-6042