Northern & Central Midwest
Plant Amnesty is an interesting organization devoted to the care of plants. It is based in Seattle but has pruning guides for several regions of the United States. The Wisconsin guide gives great information that is applicable to the entire Midwest about pruning plants properly. The guides include diagrams, so there should be no questions about which branch to prune.
Tool or Gardening Product
Serrated Kitchen Shears
Kitchen shears have become my best friend in the garden. When cutting back spongy or stringy perennial foliage, such as soggy hostas or tough Siberian irises, pruners can bind and stick. But a trusty pair of garden shears brings short work of the task. Serrated shears work best, but any pair of sturdy scissors will do.