Magnolias and Plums in the Ice Storm: a Pruning Guide

Here are two examples of the gapping energy I showed you the other day. For the original please click here.

First, the magnolias at Bahati Farm. This darling is 38 years old now. She has seen a lot of storms like this. 

Note how there are gaps between branches, which new branches fill, and gaps between buds (plus the gaps left by absent flowers and leaves, which have helped create the gaps you see here) which have filled with ice. She is willowy, so she has shaken most of it off. Not like the Italian plum below:

These gaps don’t lie against buds, as they do with the magnolia, but in lines, in keeping with the growth pattern of this tree. Note the difference in a Japanese plum, below:

She is catching the ice in the gaps of missing fruit, on each bud. Look at them sparkle like plums! This is a simple demonstration of the power of a word to open up an understanding into tree growth and how to prune to encourage it. One doesn’t prune branches. One creates gaps, of the right nature for the tree, so she may fill them with productive growth, which encourages new gaps. The ice is like a camera, that reveals what is otherwise sensed less directly. Tomorrow, I will show you a fjall, another gapping energy, and its uses. Till then, love the ice you’re with!

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