Don’t Be A Stick In The Mud – Or Do!

Around mid-February Robert and I took advantage of a sunny day with temps above freezing to do a bit of tree pruning. We didn’t get around to it last year, except for the fruit trees, so we drove around in the golf cart visiting each tree and trimming as necessary.

Robert used the saw while I over-saw his work and directed him to the branches which required removal. It’s a good partnership. He has learned to make the cuts close to the trunk, but without getting too close. I have learned to keep my mouth shut while he is handling the power tool.

When we arrived at the Weeping Willow tree on the north side of our front yard I realized how much of a hot mess it was. Having skipped a year of necessary pruning, the tree was left with quite a few long hanging branches which were taking the tree to the point of becoming a massive bush, rather than a nice tree with a sturdy trunk that provided the main support for branches. It was still a young tree, as all of them are in our yard since we only moved in the day before Christmas 2016, and before that time the land had been a 20 acre hay field. I suspect we only planted that Willow tree in 2019.

We began at ground level and I pointed to several branches which had to go. After dispatching nearly a dozen limbs, the tree finally appeared as it should – with the lowest branch positioned high enough to leave room for mowing around the base. What remained was a large pile of discarded limbs of various sizes.

I looked at all those branches scattered on the ground and recalled a fun botanical fact.

“You know, this ground is soft enough that if we push these branches into the soil, they might just survive and grown into trees in the Spring,” I said. “But, we’d have to do it quickly to avoid the ends from drying out, ” added.

Robert was a bit skeptical, but since the job was fairly easy, he obliged. Pacing off about 20 feet, he pressed the first branch into the cool, soft soil. Then, he repeated with two additional branches. These were not twigs. They looked like little trees, and stood about 5 feet tall! If it worked, the trees would be quite substantial even in their first year of existence.

About a week later we had a terrible wind storm. The little future trees had been blown over and were laying flat to the ground. Being the good man that he is, Robert trudged out in the soggy yard, pounded a stake at each plant’s base and secured those little trees back in the upright position.

A day ago, I took a jaunt around the place for the first time in weeks. Business constraints and terrible weather had kept me away from the places that I love the most around our property.

I was so excited to see that our three new Weeping Willow trees had taken hold and were leafing out. Amazing!

My vision for our front yard had always been to plant trees along that line between where we mow a yard and the hay field to the North. The trees would become a windbreak for the cold winds that sometimes blow from the northwest. In a matter of minutes we were able to move that project a couple of years further along than I would have ever imagined.

These are photos of the “parent” tree that we pruned in February. It’s doing well and the close-up shows how it’s leafing out now.

Here are photos of the “baby” trees! Their leaves are almost identical in growth to the parent tree’s growth!

Isn’t Nature awesome!

One Comment on “Don’t Be A Stick In The Mud – Or Do!

  1. I know Weeping Willow as a plumbing nuisance. Both my parents had to deal with the roots in their pipes. My Husband had that issue too. Hopefully those trees of yours are not near your plumbing pipes.

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