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I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunshine and shears

Today was a sublime sunny Winter's day and I deemed it perfect for doing the pruning I have been putting off. I pruned a number of neglected fruit trees, trimmed a weeping elm, and took off a couple of branches that were encroaching on the driveway. The first picture is of one of two old rose bushes that look as if they haven't had a prune in a couple of years.

This is a Japanese Maples and shows what happens if you don't prune correctly. The piece left has died and rotted and may become a health issue for the whole tree. Cutting back to green wood is the only thing to do in this case.

The roses also had similar problems.

A clean cut, at an angle to stop water from sitting on the cut, close, but not too close to a bud is preferable. I was able to cut out a lot of dead wood and trim back the whole bush to healthy looking wood. In doing so I have opened up the bushes. I am not an expert at pruning, and I may not get flowers this year, but I am sure he bushes will thank me in the long run.

As for this tangled mess? I have no idea how to even approach it.
I felt very close to my father today and could hear his voice. I remembered to cut a little, step back and look, and cut a little more. A good pruning job should not look like a massacre and in some cases you shouldn't even be able to tell. Unfortunately, you can tell when a rose has been cut in winter....but they are at least neat.

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