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Peralta News: Merritt College Pruning Club

19 September 2017

Back in 1980’s Dennis Makishima was working as a gardener in the East Bay hills, and wanted to expand his training in the field of Horticulture, so he started attending classes in the Landscape Horticulture department.
 
As his horticultural knowledge increased, so did his understanding of a need that Dennis was able to develop into a clear vision of Aesthetic Pruning courses, which  “embrace the creative interpretation of small trees and shrubs in the urban context. The living art form combines the artistic skill of the pruner, the essences of the tree and the science of horticulture  and the needs of the clients and the surroundings.”  
 
Dennis Makishima was able to impart his skills and horticultural understanding into a successful series of courses designed to help students into a career that cultivated specialized pruning skills.
 
Dennis has taught hundreds of students and mentored many into lucrative careers of service to the East Bay and beyond.  
 

The Merritt Pruning Club has a 30-year history of mentoring and service. The Apprenticeship model of training and the Aesthetic Pruning club’s’ mission has benefited many gardens in the East Bay.  We are grateful to ALL the founding members and appreciate the skill and enthusiasm which has lasted and still inspires our community.
 
The 30 years of continuous service to the community,  here and throughout the world, had its beginnings here at Merritt College.
 
The department wants to also acknowledge Judy Thomas who was Faculty advisor to this club for the first 20 years:
 Pete Churgel, Yuki Nara, Randall Lee, and Bill Castellon and of course Michael Alliger, all extraordinary teachers, and Tom Branca assisted the program forward.
 
Merritt College has been offering a fee-based series of classes in Aesthetic Pruning for more than 20 years, with a wide array of individual modules for all interests and levels of expertise. These classes, plus additional Horticulture classes and experience, can lead to a Department-issued Award in Aesthetic Pruning! For more information, please visit: http://merrittlandhort.com

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