Friday, November 23, 2007

Trimming the Tree(s)

This weekend we are going to finish trimming the trees. Now before you get all excited and start singing Christmas songs, I'm not talking about ornaments and tinsel. I'm talking about trimming with saws and clippers. Playing with Man Toys!

In front of our house we have two beautiful Magnolia trees. In the spring, one has beautiful red flowers and the other white. I'm always worried about trimming these trees, that somehow we'll ruin them and then the flowers won't bloom in the spring. Luckily, that hasn't happened in the past. But I'm still a nervous nelly about it. It's like giving them a bad hair cut but not being able to hide it under a hat!

The other tree we've started working on is a huge old leafy thing that sits in the corner of the garden. It's obvious from it's growth pattern that it has been trimmed before. Actually, it's obvious it's been not just trimmed, but hacked back to it's trunk over the years. One thick solid trunk that has four knobs growing out from it. Each of the four knobs has marks from where branches have been cut over time. It looks like four scarred fists, trying to reach up and touch the coulds.

I'm not sure what it is in France, but there seems to be a general attitude that trees need to be cut right back every year. Cut off all the new shoots, cut off all the old dead branches, cut off anything that looks like it remotely wants to become green! The trees look just like a stalk of broccoli after all the florets have been cut off. Fine for a vegetable, but a tree?!?

It reminds me of when Daddio used to trim the crab apple tress at our old house. He would head out to those three little trees and just start snipping away. A couple of hours later, we'd still consider them trees but we'd have to wait a few months for proof!

In Daddio's case, and hopefully in ours, with the spring we had beautiful trees once again. And I will admit, that the trees in France are ever so pretty once they start sporting their new leaves.

It's just such a stark look for winter. Maybe if I knitted some big colourful mittens for the four fists, throw a little tinsel on 'em, some lights, maybe even an ornament or two...

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