Garden Log 4/24/22

So a year-and-a-half ago, during a winter storm, our peach tree came almost entirely out of the ground. We thought we’d lost it, but Kevin and I tried wrangling it back into place, and then resorted to some very elegant orange bungee cords to try and hold it steady, and it seemed like it might be okay?

The following year, it flowered and fruited really well, so it hooray. But we’d like to get rid of the bungee cords, and I was a little scared to remove them without fixing whatever caused the initial issue. Which I *think* was my totally inept pruning.

See, I was trying to keep the peach tree to manageable size, but also to keep the path to the deck clear. And so over the years, I’d ended up pruning away quite a lot of growth on one side, and allowing a lot more on the other, and I *think* it got very lopsided and heavy on the unpruned side.

So today I finally got up my nerve and hauled out my new saw. I’d researched, and bought one that I thought would be the right size to handle branches as thick as what I’d need to cut. I was tempted to make Kevin come and stand by, just in case I got into trouble, but I really didn’t see what could go wrong — the branches would be falling where no one was standing, and they weren’t really that big anyway. I wasn’t going to kill or even seriously injure anyone if I got it wrong.

I’m pretty sure I did get it wrong. I meant to look up saw-pruning techniques beforehand, and I have a vague recollection from the last time I looked it up that there’s a three-cut process — top, bottom, and then top again? Something like that.

But I couldn’t remember, and I was too impatient to go look — I’d put off this tasks for months from when I’d initially meant to do it, in late February or early March, and if I went inside to go look it up, I could easily end up distracted and not getting to it again for weeks. So I just dug in. Sawed in, I guess.

And it was easy to saw through, as it turned out — didn’t require much force at all. But I got a clean cut to about four-fifths of the way through, and the branch snapped and sort of peeled off the rest, and I’m pretty sure that’s wrong. I solemnly pledge to go look up proper procedure sometime soon and go make some fresh cuts so the tree isn’t traumatized — my vague memory is if you do it wrong, you open up the tree to added risk of infection, among other things.

But still, it got done. And hopefully that means the tree isn’t dragging to one side quite as badly, and we can take off the bungee cords and it’ll stay upright. (I didn’t have the nerve to do that yet, maybe tomorrow.)

I’ve definitely decreased our peach harvest for this year, which is sad, but hopefully will be setting tree up for more success in the decade to come. And the one good hting about pruning this late is that I got to bring all the flowering branches instead, and cut them up, and make five different arrangements with them, so for a week or two, my house is full of peach blossoms, so that’s nice.

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