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verb (used with object), pruned, prun·ing.
1. to cut or lop off (twigs, branches, or roots).
2. to cut or lop superfluous or undesired twigs, branches, or roots from; trim.
3. to rid or clear of (anything superfluous or undesirable).
4. to remove (anything considered superfluous or undesirable).
Ah, finally! The weather is now showing signs that spring is rapidly approaching central Georgia. For most of the USA though, winter is still trying to maintain its firm hold on the weather patterns. The threat of frost is still too real to fully commit to most outdoor planting, and surely many are growing tired of the cool, damp days and are longing for the warmth that comes with the spring sunshine.
That said, instead of moping about inside and wishing for things to come, now is a great time to invest in ridding our fruit trees of unwanted growths making sure that the tree isn’t hurting itself by getting its branches crossed.
Pruning is an extremely important step needed to help ensure proper growth, development, and sustainability in fruit production.
Pruning can sometimes be very easy – requiring only the removal of things that are obviously damaged. Often though, pruning requires a much more discerning approach. It can be confusing at first, but with experience the process becomes much easier. While not necessarily enjoyable, the rewards are well worth it. So take time to learn about your fruit and how to best prepare it for success.
What exactly do I mean?
Some things might look visually appealing at first glance, but upon further inspection you’ll notice that if these things are allowed to continue growing on the current pattern, it can actually be quite harmful, not only for that tree, but it can introduce disease and weaken all of the trees around it. These things are sometimes hard to reach and painful to remove, but their removal is essential to the health (and sometimes survival) of the tree.
You know, now that I think about it, it is not too different from us on a personal level. Things that might look good at first don’t always turn out to be good for us. In fact, sometimes these things can be downright harmful to us and those around us. Sometimes things are easy to spot as being bad and we remove those easily.
Sometimes though, it takes an experienced eye to let us know that we are headed for problems. These things are often painful to remove and are hard for us to reach. They are also very important though and, if not removed, can weaken everyone around us.
Before the weather is warm and we are distracted with all of the attractions of spring and summer, maybe it would be a good time to do a once-over of ourselves and see if there are things we need to nip in the bud to prevent harmful patterns from developing.
May the fruit in your garden (and the fruit in your lives) be plentiful and healthy this year!