Normally, I try to post one blog entry during the week and one on the weekend. That was not going to happen last week, though, because we were going camping. Realizing this, I planned to do some super-easy garden work on Thursday, take some pictures of it, and get an early post in. I decided that pruning was just the thing. After all, how long could pruning two shrubs and one tree take?
You might have noticed that this post is going up on Monday . . . after I have gotten back.
Anyway, I had three plants I wanted to prune this month: the Indian plum, a barberry, and the cherry tree. All of them needed shaping, and I had been putting it off for far too long.
This is what my Indian plum looked like before pruning.
As you can see, it is very healthy, but it is also putting up more shoots at its base in its quest to become a thicket. I, on the other hand, want it to pretend to be a tree. Knowing that Indian plums want to be thickets, not trees, I would never have bought this plant for this particular property. However, it was here when we bought the place, and instead of cutting it down, I transplanted it to the best place possible and resigned myself to a lot of pruning.
This is how it looks now.
Eventually, I would like to prune it down to one main trunk, instead of two, but so far neither trunk seems dominant, so I am leaving both.
Next on my list was the barberry. This just needed a little shaping, because it was starting to get unruly. However, I have found that once I start pruning, I keep noticing more areas that bug me.
Yes, that is dead grass sticking through it. In this instance, though, it is not a failure to weed on my part. We try to keep this area more natural for the birds.
Finally, I tackled the cherry tree. Cherries do not normally need to be pruned, but it was getting hard to walk under and it was encroaching upon the road. (Being the photographer meant that there was nobody to take awkward pictures of me bonking my head upon the lower branches. As the tallest person in my family, it happened a lot.)
This is how it looked when everything was done. I was not expecting this big of a difference.
As long as I was in there, I also cut down the spirea. Now I can easily walk under the branches and I no longer have to worry about them reaching into the road. My day of pruning may have taken longer than I had planned, but I am happy with the results.