Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Olympic-Inspired Tree Pruning

I took advantage of the wonderful spring-like weather this afternoon to take care of a few things in the yard. The compost needed some attention, and I mixed the leaves which I had placed on the top into the matted grass clippings underneath.

After that job, I collected the pruners and walked around the yard pruning things that needed it. The raspberries, the grapes, and the fruit trees.

Pruning fruit trees has always seemed to me more of an art than anything else. I walk around the tree, examining it from all angles before cutting anything. This is followed by a second pass, slower, trimming out the obvious branches. Finally a third circle is made around the tree. Stopping at each side to carefully shape the tree into a thing of beauty which will grow strong enough to support the fruit that it will produce.

After I finished, I stepped back and admired my work. It wasn't until later that I noticed something...

spin

The way the trees look when they are pruned nicely is a lot like an ice skater doing a layback spin. The picture in the link isn't quite the image I was looking for, but it's close.

4 comments:

Emily said...

Our pruning experience has been limited to dying houseplants and small shrubs that get smaller and smaller as we remove the dead parts. For awhile they have resembled a figure skating move though--that one where the skater grabs one ankle above his / her head and skates backwards on the other foot. Very impressive.

wordsfromhome said...

At least your trees are still small and you can enjoy the process from beginning to end. I start out with the same thoughts and great ambition, but by the time I get around a couple of my mature trees I feel like the skater who ended up on her fanny on the ice. A well pruned tree is a thing of beauty though.

costco shopper said...

I marvel at some of my neighbors whose trees are works of art and every bit as deserving recognition. When some of these old timers pass along I wonder if there will be anyone to cary on the art and science of tree pruning. Congratulations to you for endeavoring and having such a reverence and respect for things that grow. The effort makes you a partner with the Creator in tending, taking care and beautifying the garden.

Allie said...

I'm sure my trees aren't perfect, but I think they have beauty. I learned everything I know about pruning from my mother.

Wordsfromhome, the thing about ice skaters who fall down is that they get up and keep going.

:)