This week I pruned two maple trees in the front yard of a beautiful neighborhood home. They were fine trees, still just small enough to prune using a ladder. No boom truck needed, yet. They were also growing just the way maple trees are supposed to grow in the full sun, big and round.
Sometimes when I look at a tree I know exactly what needs to be pruned. The problems are very clear. But with these two trees I wasn't sure. After all, they where growing the way maples grow. I asked God for wisdom and started into the work.
As I moved up and down the ladder my purpose for pruning these trees became clear. They had a lot of branches and they were starting to suffocate the house. There was confusion in these tree tops. My job wasn't to make major changes in the structure. It was just to clean up the confusion.
I know some people like these trees. Great people! Strong roots. Good structure. Growing well. No apparent problems. Lots of good stuff going on. Lots and lots of good stuff. Sometimes these great people begin to suffocate those around them. It's not something friends can put a finger on. It's just harder to breathe around them. There's a buzz of confusion that never seems to go away.
If you feel like one of these trees maybe its time for some light pruning. You may not need to have great branches removed, just clear up the confusion. Where two branches are growing in the same direction remove one of them. If two branches are crossing cut one out. Don't be afraid. If you don't cut back enough you can always cut back some more.
The recovery is quick and the clean up is easy. But most of all people will be able to breathe around you again. They will be able to see where they are going with you instead of having their vision blocked by all the branches.
When I was finished pruning the trees my trailer was full of branches to haul away and the trees were more open. The owner was happy with these maples again. The light pruning lifted their concerns and the trees get to keep growing where they are instead of living under constant scrutiny with the owner wondering if they should be cut back hard.
A little clean up of the confusion brought peace and freedom to all! No BOOM...truck necessary.