Good tools make all the difference. The loppers cut through branches in the 2″ range like butter. I finally wised up and started using them to cut back grasses too, saving a lot of wear and tear on overworked wrists. I had my old standby secateurs sharpened at Garden Fever and bought another, smaller version to stand in while waiting (their sharpener works in batches, so there’s a gap between dropping things off and picking them up). Between the two sizes, sprigs and twigs (ha ha) are a snap. A collapsable rake gets into tight spaces to clean up fallen debris. I’ve been searching for the right gloves to wear at work (more on that later). These didn’t work in that situation but are great for pruning protection. Finally, that little retractable saw is surprisingly effective in encounters with branches too big for the loppers.
Ceanothus ‘Blue Jeans’ was afflicted with several split limbs. Once I got started on it, the chaotic scramble of crossed or gangly branches kept goading me on to create a significant brush pile. In the process, many buds were sacrificed. I hate to think of a spring without the welcoming sight of the big blue bush. Maybe that bucket of branches will come through with a forced show to make up for it.
Meanwhile, over at Joy Creek, this Magnolia dresses up a stormy sky.
It’s furry buds are swelling with the promise of the spring show we know is coming, even if it sometimes seems a bit tardy.
That retractable saw is cool. I’ve never seen that design before, just the little folding saws. I need to get out to do some more pruning, too.
Mike had a larger, more impressive version for his pruning demonstration. I think he said he got it at the local feed & seed.
Impressive day’s work, Ricki!
Satisfying work when I can get it.
I had a pruning day too ! Not many dry days to get things done .
Trying to jump on those occasional rays of sunshine…few and far between lately.
I am sorry for your loss of the Ceanothus.
I still have the Felco pruners that I was using at Clouds Hill Farm. And I think I am maybe one of only 4 or 5 people in all of Mazatlan who owns a pair. I guard them with my life.
I’m guessing, with your fastidious ways, you keep them well oiled and sharpened so they will last forever.
That’s a load of branches my friend! Let the clean up begin!
Cleaning up is what we seem to be doing a lot of these days, no?
Having the right tools makes all the difference, especially when pruning. I hope you get the show you want from the forced branches and give us a peek here.
The buds seem to be swelling in their bucket on the porch. Fingers crossed!
Pruning is a very satisfying task. I agree wholeheartedly that the right tools make all the difference, and those tools being properly sharp! I find the pruning saw incredible.
Gotta be careful around that pruning saw, as I can attest, with the scars to prove it.
Spring must be close, because it’s not raining in your photos. Happy pruning!
Hah! It’s been pouring…and hailing…and snowing…ever since.
You’re inspiring. I’ve got much pruning to do… and need to get started!
Kinda fun when you get into it.