Extending Family

Pink nectarine ‘Fantasia’ flowers on the tree in early Spring

The two least predicted are the two most in need of a trim, and they are the plum trees – one Sunburst plum, and one Bluebird plum. I originally thought that they would struggle the most because of their penchant for sandy soil over clay, but perhaps the leftover patio sand tossed into the bottom of their planting holes fooled them. They are currently out-of-control renegades whose craggily arms attempt a ghoulish canopy over the driveway.

The other two more refined individuals in queue for a weekend trim are the two apple trees out back offsetting the short winding path to the patio. They are the Harlequin apple – rounded and plump like an upturned apple itself, and the Liberty apple, whose limbs grow straight out, then boast right-angle offshoots straight up. Two of a kind, but completely different in shape and growing pattern.

Our fifth tree was the heartbreaking casualty of the five and it was all my fault. She was a nectarine tree with the most beautiful flowers of them all. We lost her last summer to my enthusiastic over-pruning too late in the season.

The trees were our gift to each other four years ago for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. We picked them out at the co-op and planted them that spring. They are Harley, Libby, Reenie, Sunny, and Toby, named after the strain of fruit they each produce, and they are – coincidentally – in alphabetical order from east to west. Four of them produce beautiful blossoms that beckon to birds and insects in spring and summer, then evolve into a delicious banquet for the squirrels come fall harvest. Reenie still adds woody contrast to the lot in her own way.

This weekend will be the first spell outside with spring attention in mind and heart, and that is a welcomed thing. Pruning, puttering, and pondering about how much, what to plant, and where.

Prune, putter, ponder.

Apportioned peace.

7 thoughts on “Extending Family

  1. I am there with you, pruning and sculpting the beautiful trees. You write so beautifully. In this moment, I am reminded of the many volunteer trees I replanted with my mother all over her property. It’s so satisfying to commune with nature, to be a part of that living beauty. Thanks so much for sharing this experience.

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  2. Aw, losing a tree is so sad! We lost our only flowering tree, a gorgeous plum colored crab apple, to a storm a few years back. It was a tree I took pics in front of with my baby bellies and my babies and I had intended to keep taking pics with my kids in front of it every mother’s day. But sigh, she fell over. It was almost harder because she was still mostly in the ground. So we had to make a tougher decision about whether to try to save it or not. I miss it!

    Glad you have lots of beauty to surround you!

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    1. Aww… ThanK you for your comment and for understanding. I talked to it, visited it frequently, and took extra care with it, but the tree never recovered. I still feel so badly about it. Nevertheless, it can still do its part in our yard, whatever that may be:)

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  3. Oh you have fruit trees! I would love to plant a few but my neighbors big maple takes control of our area. The image above is lovely. I love the spring when the fruit trees are in bloom. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Spring. Here in Minnesota I still have lots of snow on the ground so spring is a ways off yet.

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  4. Pruning, puttering, and pondering sound like a perfectly peaceful way to perpetrate plenty of weekend platitudes! Hahaha, I love this post Deb, I love that your trees were your anniversary gift! Enjoy!

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