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the aesthetic pruners association

Welcome to the aesthetic pruners association!

The APA is a non profit association established to promote and develop the craft of aesthetic pruning and support professional pruners in their work. The APA encourages the growth and development of the aesthetic pruning profession and its business practices. We maintain a high standard of craftsmanship, sound horticulture practices and artistic expression. The APA strives to expand awareness and appreciation of aesthetic pruning among the general public and industry professionals. We work to enhance the science of aesthetic pruning, stimulate the exchange of ideas and technical information, and deepen personal understanding of the artistry of aesthetic pruning.

What is aesthetic pruning?

Aesthetic Pruning is the creative interpretation of small trees and shrubs. This living art form combines the artistic skill of the pruner, the essence of a tree, the science of horticulture and the needs of clients and surroundings.

With its foundation in Japanese garden pruning, bonsai and arboriculture, aesthetic pruning incorporates visual art and design principles to work with plant material within its unique setting. Due to the universality of its approach, aesthetic pruning benefits all situations and garden styles.

Aesthetic pruners focus their work on trees and shrubs under 15 feet tall. They are dedicated to the craft of pruning, versed in many styles and have a long term vision with an emphasis on health and beauty.  To view some examples of aesthetic pruning, please check out our Before and After photos

Find an APA certified AESTHETIC pruner ®

The APA directory can help you find the right pruner for you and your garden.

Sachiko Umehara scholarship fund

As owner of Momiji Nursery in Santa Rosa, in partnership with her husband Mike Umehara, Sachiko was a great advocate of the Aesthetic Pruners Association and had special relationships with many of its pruners.  These pruners received their education through the Aesthetic Pruning program at Merritt College, which Sachiko also attended.  She strongly believed that taking the horticulture and Aesthetic Pruning classes at Merritt were very important to become an aesthetic pruner.  A portion of the proceeds from the APA garden tour and personal donations funds the scholarship.

The Sachiko Umehara Scholarship Fund is designed to help cover the tuition costs of the academic classes and Aesthetic Pruning series classes offered through the Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Dept.  Tuition waiver options may be available to those with financial need.* The Fund is managed by the Peralta Colleges Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

This scholarship in the amount of $500.00 is awarded to any student who wishes to get a horticulture education and take the Aesthetic Pruning series of classes offered at Merritt College.  Apply online starting October 1st, 2021 at the Peralta Colleges Foundation website www.peraltafoundation.org.  Students cannot apply directly for the Sachiko Umehara Scholarship.  The Peralta Colleges Foundation system matches all scholarships in their database for which the applicant is eligible. The applicant must demonstrate a stated need and an educational commitment to learn the craft of aesthetic pruning.

The scholarship awardee will be announced at the Annual APA Business meeting in January.

Conditions of accepting the scholarship are a commitment to completing the classes required for the Aesthetic Pruning Award.**

*Merritt College is a California Community College and qualifying students may be eligible for Federal Financial Aid and/or the Board of Governors tuition fee waiver (BOG waiver).

**For more information regarding classes and schedules, contact Maril Bull at the Merritt College Horticulture Department: (email is best) mbull@peralta.edu or 510-436-2418


P.O. Box 5163, Berkeley, CA 94705


The Aesthetic Pruners Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

Copyright © 2021 Aesthetic Pruners Association, Inc.

APA Certified Aesthetic Pruner® is a Trademark of Aesthetic Pruners Association, Inc.

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