Posted: 03/06/2013 at 00:30
I'm sure you deserved the rest - and the doze Wintersong, all the work you must do with such a beautiful garden and an allotment!
I had a slow start - intending to prune my rather neglected plum tree. Then I remembered I needed to go shopping. By the time I got back I was starving... So after a late lunch, and some fiddling around trying to get a nice photo (!) of the peonies that have started to bloom I eventually started on the tree.
I have been planning this particular pruning job since well before Christmas. (Keep reading coz there's a gardening tip coming up)
I kept getting caught out over the timing for pruning plum trees because I used to think all pruning is done in Winter when you can more easily see the branches. But of course, Silverleaf can attack plums in Winter (I think?) so you have to make those vital pruning decisions when everything is covered with foliage In the summer.
So I had an idea.
Tip: I thought: what if I marked all the most obvious pruning cuts with white paint while the tree is bare? Then when I prune in June a lot of my decisions will be waiting for me - marked on the bark.
So I did that, and today it seems to have paid off. I found that as I 'got my eye in' the white paint showed up and ... chop chop, snip snip, saw saw and daylight appeared so much quicker than in past years.
Although it is only a medium sized tree it is taking time because I still have to take care, but there are two big piles of twigs and branches already, and I am only about a third way through.
This is long awaited remedial pruning and I expect I am breaking some 'the rules' with the amount I'm taking off, but two years ago the fruit, although small, was so heavy in its hundreds, that branches broke because they were long and thin through missed pruning.
I hope to finish tomorrow (Oh! Today!) and I will then post photos (I've got to keep trying!) of before and after.