Agriculture

Porcupine My Brother!

Here’s an example of porcupine cherry tree pruning:

P1210457Porcupine Art on Grassland Choke Cherry

Instead of brush strokes, thinks tooth strokes. Think: playing a cello with your teeth. And no strings. And no conductor. Just the snow, the stars and you.

The porcupine, a so-called wild animal, prunes the choke cherries by taking out whole stems … and the most mature stems at that. This thins out and renews the tree, which is short-lived anyway, given that it’s the host to many species of insects and fungus, not to mention those great blue lichens. In comparison, here’s a domestic cherry tree I pruned for a woman who got through the London Blitz fine enough but who now, something like 70 years later, was gouged a king’s ransom for a bad pruning job on her cherry tree four years ago and on her tiny pension just can’t afford that. Okanagan Okanogan is not going to stand for that! It’s time to leave the virtual world!

P1210673Okanagan Okanogan to the Rescue

Cherry trees are sacred things. If you’re going to prune them, do it right.

Still, it’s not that much different from the porcupine’s work, is it!

highcutInstead of Tooth Marks, Chainsaw Marks. Other than that, scant difference.

Note from the tree rings just how quickly that branch has grown in the last three years, after about three years (i.e. before the scam artists messed around with it) of happy, slow puttering along. Pretty soon, the whole tree would have been forty feet in the air, with nothing down below but dead sticks.

Cherry Trees are self-pruning, when left to their own devices. Choke cherries discard old stems. Domestic cherries discard lower branches (which are also older stems). The porcupine and I are both in the business of creating new stems. For the porcupine, it’s whatever’s within climbing distance. For a man, it’s, well, bringing the tree down and giving it an extension on its youth in whatever space is within climbing distance. Hmmm. Again, it’s a tie. Except …

P1210690I Get Firewood!

There’ll be cherries to share later, when the time is ripe. I think we’ll be hearing from the robins around then, mind you. “Brother!” I expect they will say. “Nice fruits.”

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