When we bought our house there were three wonderful pine trees in the front north corner of the yard. The previous owners were Japanese, and these trees had been trained into lovely shapes and the branches pruned so we could see the trunk.
Eventually, I learned how to prune the trees, although I never did the pom-poms. Just not my style. Usually, from start to finish, it took from 2 to 4 weeks. You see, I used clippers and cut out all the deadwood, trimmed back the candles, and shaped the trees. Sometimes I used a Japanese pruning saw to cut out a larger branch that had died. I did this every year. Then every other year. Then every three years.
On occasion, I slipped out of the tree and sprained an ankle, cracked a rib, or hit my head. Scratches and bruises were normal. No whining unless I needed stitches or blood was gushing. However, when I was finished, they looked marvelous.
Well, it’s been 4 years and I feel guilty every time I look at the trees. They are in sorry shape with dead needles covering the lower branches and killing the new growth underneath. So. This may be my last time to prune. And they will again look marvelous when I am finished. But I’m starting not with clippers and a hand pruning saw. I took my pruning chain saw to some of the branches that have been my bane. Bazipp. Bazipp. The branches that made it difficult for me to crawl up inside the tree or impossible to safely place my extension ladder are gone. Well, most of them.
I’m not finished, yet. I need to rest a bit. It doesn’t pay to keep on working when I’m tired. That’s the way to a sprained ankle, cracked rib, or bump on the head.