Pruning — the First Sign of Spring

It was nice out yesterday — at least for a while — it got up into the 40s, and the sun shone briefly, so I got much dog poop cleaned up, and then, as sometimes happens this time of year, the pruning bug hit me.

First, I took on my plum tree — which is really a group of four or five trunks, all of which grow parallel to one another and sort of form one “tree.” The last two years I’ve had not only a huge glut of plums (these are the little local plums) but many of them were way way up high in the sky, necessitating use of the tall scary ladder. So, I cut out one trunk, and dragged it off into the alley — I need to do a little more pruning on that tree, but I think I need to prune branches, not whole trunks, and I was in a tree-cutting mood.

Next I moved off to the back alley between my garage/shed and my neighbor Sheila’s garage/studio. There are two weedy little ash trees that have really shot up the past couple of years — they rub against Sheila’s studio roof and were in danger of breaking the fence. So, since I was in the mood, I went after them with my handy hacksaw — the first one came down just fine, but the second one I nearly got myself in trouble — it got hung up in my telephone wire. Yikes! I was out there in the yard and Sheila was in her basement (she’s a potter) and Mike two doors down wasn’t in his yard and I had a 20 foot little tree hung up in the telephone wires. I frantically went at it with my hacksaw and managed to cut it free before I pulled out my telephone connection — but it was an adrenalin rush for a minute.

I have more pruning to do, but I forget every year when this urge comes upon me that for someone like myself who hates working out, well, sawing off branches is always more of a workout than I’m ready for. I get tired and whiny — but then when it’s done it’s so satisfying. I love standing back and looking at a tree, seeing which suckers need to come off, how to open up the middle so the air circulates, and giving it a nice shape.