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Trimming the Tree

John Matel trimming treeChrissy & I trimmed the branches in our trees today.  One of our neighbors lent us a 12-foot ladder so I could climb into the tree and get at the internal branches that were crossing and rubbing onto each other. 

All the zelkova trees around here have a problem of crossing and interfering branches.  I think that the reason is the way they sell them from nurseries.   They trim them up nicely and encourage branching so that they look good at the date of sale.  That means they are fuller than they would otherwise be.   As they grow, the branches expand into each other’s space.  Now this one is taken care of.   Sarah, the woman next door is now very happy.  She was worried re the branches hitting her house.

I was surprised how much I cut out and how little it seemed to change the tree.  That is the sign of a good pruning.  If the tree still looks natural after the work is done, the work has been done well.  Although I probably should have waited another month to prune, I think it will work out.  We are having an early fall this year and the fall pruning should make it grow really fast next spring at the ends of the branches and it is too late for the sucker branches to grow now, so it will be okay.

I am getting too old to climb around in the branches.  Chrissy held the ladder and passed up the tools. I was glad to have her.  It always worried me that the ladder would fall when I was high in the branches or – worse – when I was standing on the ladder.  Now my only worry was that branches and sawdust would land on Chrissy.

Tree at Johnson-Matel house in 2000We cut the branches up and loaded them into the truck - filled the whole bed. I am going down to the farm tomorrow and will dump them down there.  It is good to have a truck and good to have land. My plan is to drive really fast backwards and then slam on the breaks, releasing the branches onto the ground.  

On the left is the same tree nine years ago.  I trimmed off the lower branches, but you can see the future branch tangle. 

 


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