Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Little Light Pruning

This first picture shows that even the smallest trees get trimmed at our place every year (IDEALLY). The trimmings litter the ground in front of the trees.

The second picture shows the current project. In the upper left is our largest tree, a Mulgoba mango which is about 100 years old. It suffered significant damage in 2005 from Hurricane Wilma. I asked the tree trimmers to take out a major vertical branch with quite a bit of damage, and to cut out ripped ends of other branches. Ripped ends do not heal well. The search for healthy wood is making our beautiful tree much smaller than I had invisioned, and it ain't over yet.

But trimming big trees for health has huge benefits. Our large Haden trees near the house were cut back a year and a half before Wilma, and we lost two branches from three large trees in that storm. In contrast, our untrimmed Mulgoba lost 90% of its canopy. In fact, only one branch was not damaged.

Of course I call in professional tree trimmers to work on the big trees. This year they'll trim three or four of our large trees. Next year I hope the remaining large trees will be trimmed. By working on some of the trees one year and the others the next, we should be able to harvest Haden mangos every year. Big trees that have had major tree work usually take a couple years to produce a significant crop.

As for the small trees, my goal is to keep them small which requires trimming something from each of them every year. But this year I'm running short on my three precious personal resources: time, energy and attention.We'll see how it goes.

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