Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pruning a weeping plum tree

In Japan there's apparently a saying "Sakura wo kiru baka, ume wo kiranu baka", which roughly translates as "Twerp as prunes a cherry, idiot as doesn't prune a plum".

Not wishing to be condemned as an idiot, I got to work with my pruning scissors.

But first I consulted the interweb, because it really isn't obvious where to make the cuts. However, I found a very helpful website with the following pictures on it.

With these as my guide, I got cutting. It's a fairly savage business, because nearly all of last year's growth is amputated.

The result is a very stumpy-looking tree, much reduced from the many-tentacled thing that we saw in spring. I had assumed that the wilted-looking leaves that were folded in half along the long axis were a sign of stress due to the prolonged drought. But according to a garden shop lady (more about her later) who visited the other day, it's a sign of good health. Could have fooled me...

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