… because it is still rather small. Earlier this year (I think in February) I bought an Elstar tree from the garden centre. One of the pleasures of recent months has been watching the apparently inert wood sprout buds, flowers and fruit. A few weeks ago I noticed how droopy the branches were with fruit, and made the decision to prune them. I had read Robert Penn’s “The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees” by Robert Penn, realised that a tree needs more care than simply being left there – well, my arboricultural knowledge extended to reading one single book. So I sacrificed some of the fruit for what I had (rather arbitrarily) decided to be the greater good of the tree.
Since the branches have reached for the sky, and the tree looks much more balanced and symmetrical. Does this balance equate with better tree care? I am not sure, but I would like to think so. One of my impressions from Penn’s book is that the qualities that are aesthetically pleasing in a tree also tend to reflect the quality of the wood. Of course, it is pretty early for me to be pontificating along these lines!