The minute we stop maintaining our gardens, the ravages of wind, snow, ice, droughts, floods, weeds, pests, and diseases transform them into something we never imagined. Basically, there’s no such thing as a “natural” garden, even one that consists entirely of native species. Much as we might like to deny it, nature abhors the garden.
– Peter Del Tredici, “Pacific Horticulture” magazine July-Sep 2001 issue
I spent time on-and-off today watching a Daveytree pruning crew taking two years’ growth off my garden forest. They did a good job and with minimal damage pruned: 2 big Coast Live Oaks, 2 big Modesto Ash trees, 3 Mimosas (silk trees), 2 big Olive trees, and a dozen or so yuccas. They trimmed the small apricot, apple, and white peach trees in our little orchard and covered the ground with chips from today’s pruning. The crew removed a privet (to the extent which that is possible – privets being almost unkillable) to make more space for my baby Coast Live Oak. The arborist also consulted on my poor pear tree which has fire blight but is probably going to live if I keep it clean. I did not have any work done on our dozens of cottonwoods or the 3 pepper trees living in the Guadalupe River (squirrel-central). A vast amount of extra wood and brush came off today.
Like many exercises in hygiene, the result looks tidy but not impressive. It seems that a tree can be negative (messy, unhealthy, mis-shapen, in the wrong place) but a well-pruned tree just looks normal. As Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen said:
…it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!
Expected but a little disappointing.
Image Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson