It’s been two years since we’ve seen them. They came with all their equipment. They stood below, studying the intricate structure of the maples. They had been given orders: remove crossing/rubbing limbs and excessive sprouts, subordinate prune co-dominant leads for better structure, reduce longer limbs for weight and vase structure. Those words meant nothing to me, but they had a vision of what needed to be done.
Nimbly, they climbed into the trees. Cautiously they snapped safety ties, just in case. Higher and higher each man scaled the tree. As I watched the dance in the trees, I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics,
“He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease,
That daring young man on the flying trapeze.”
Once they had reached their highest point, small limbs began to rain down to the yard. The thicker branches hit the ground with a “thud.” A man on the ground raced to collect the discarded branches. A machine hungrily devoured limb after limb, each one became a pile of mulch. Sawdust shimmered in the light below as the chainsaw buzzed like an angry wasp. It didn’t take long to prune the two red maples.
The last bit of pruning was my peach tree. I had been warned it needed to be reduced by half. Yes the limbs were too high for us to reach the peaches. Yes, the peaches were too heavy for the branches. Yes, the peach tree is fighting for sunlight with the arborvitae trees beside it. But . . . it was still a shock to see how much had to be pruned.
Even though I knew it had to be done, it was sad to see it happen. I will be surprised if we have any peaches next summer.
Hopefully, all this pruning will extend the life of our trees for many more years.