Driving the scenic roads to and from my new home these days it is impossible not to notice the red sheen out there. All the trees that are ready to burst into green are shimmering with it. Even this last round of ice and snow seems to serve only to accentuate this phenomenon of the lifeblood sap of these trees reaching the very tips of their extremities.  This morning’s view is full of imminent burst…


In anticipation of this first blossom, I have been pruning the apple trees that live here. Enlisting the expertise of a local consultant and learning the art of removing what no long needs to be there. I am suspending disbelief that the space we are creating between limbs and buds will only encourage new growth.


I have to trust that the scars that are left will heal over beautifully.


It is amazing the amount of wood on the ground right now. And it is amazing how beautiful each one of these trees is. Each one has such strong character.  Their names finally come to me as I walk and greet each one this morning.

Meet Claire.  She occupies the center of the meadow and her elegant shape is unparalleled.


Gus lives at the edge and reaches out with persistence to touch the beauty of Claire.  He is a giant, old and soft and intimidating.


Juliana is in the center of the five, unassuming, simple, and already easy to take care of.  Her steady ground allows her upper limbs to dance with grace.


Sally is a bit defiant.  She is also at the edge like Gus, but reaches away toward potential adventure beyond the meadow.  Her riotous curls will require quite a bit of work to get her ready for new growth…


And last but not least there is Simon.  He firmly brings up the rear in his position at the furthest edge of the meadow.  He’s a bit of a goofball with spiky hair and gangly limbs and I smile every time I see him.


I realize I can appreciate their beauty up close because there is a perfect amount of space between each one, giving me perfect perspective to take in their individual essences. Unlike orchards where the trees are planted for efficiency, Claire, Simon, Juliana, Gus and Sally enjoy the freedom of the full breadth of their energetic bodies, while still be clearly connected to each other. It is only from a distance that they can be seen dancing together in the meadow…

I’ve been told it will be a few years of this effort of pruning and shaping before the fruit of the labor will be born. Smile. In the meantime, I am enjoying the process of getting to know each one of these beauties intimately.

2 thoughts on “pruning

  1. Good for you Kathy you are developing a beautiful relationship with your trees. I believe they will grow strong because has you know we are all connected. I also have names for our house plants and talk to them regularly, believe they respond with healthy growth. Your trees do look like they have there on characters and your description of each one was just beautiful. (Smiling). You are such a wonderful writer i really enjoy reading your blog.


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