25 June 2012

Tree Maintenance

Last month, I don't remember if I mentioned it - I sure as heck didn't post any pictures, because I forgot to take any (d'oh!) - I pruned that big Mulberry tree in the backyard.  It had grown about five million water sprouts (small, weak branch-lets that grow from the main branches, and are pretty much useless - at best they make a tree look ragged, at worst they can actually cause structural damage, and are highly prone to disease and insect infestation).   The sprouts had grown so long that they were dragging the ground on all sides, and the tree looked like a giant, green, hairy lollipop.  NOT GOOD.

Today, as I had the day off from work, I did the same thing to the Mexican Orchid Tree:


This is the MOT before pruning.  It's basically just a giant mound of plant.

It's eight feet wide.  I am not even kidding.

Witness also the roll of hardware fencing sitting next to it, that I never put away after re-doing the porch trellis.

In fact, the black thing standing up against the house on the right is the old trellis.  Way to put your toys away when you're done with them, me!  Ugh.

Hi, Raven!  I had to take this picture twice. Daisy was pooping
behind the tree the first time and I didn't notice.  Ewwww.

Fact: it's 113º out today.  

This is the part where I get most of the heavy pruning done and go sit inside in the a/c for thirty minutes before I can finish, so I don't DIE.

Most of the main branches that had grown out sideways, or up and then bent down, have been removed at this point.


you can kinda see the similar shape of the
Mulberry in this pic, too. 

All finished, yay!  *sweat*sweat*sweat*

All the mini-sprouts have been pruned out as well, and all the smaller branches that were growing sideways or down.  I've also cut out all the suckers that were popping up from the ground around the plant, and removed some of the thick stumpy branch-ends that were left over in the crown of the plant from branches I cut off last year.  (I forgot they were there - the bush covered them up!)

I raked the ground flat, got rid of the mound of dead leaves carpeting the ground under the tree, and swept the patio stones that were covered up by the tree - you can see here that they were never taken up and re-arranged when I did the circles pattern with the stones last year.  I'm AWESOME at being thorough, aren't I?  Yeesh.

This thing was HUGE, you guys.  There's a nearly-perfectly-circular area around the MOT where there's no grass at all, even between the stones on the patio.  You can't see it in the pic, but there's also a Garlic Chives plant under the left side that I thought had died long ago.  Nope!  It just got eaten by the tree.

Raven, in his search for a cool patch of ground to lay in, has dug two dog-shaped holes under this thing, too.  SIGH.  Next time I feel like braving the blistering central Texas heat, I'll dig out the compost bin and fill the holes, then cover the area with some more of these patio stones to keep him from doing it again and possibly damaging the tree.

I was bitten by a spider while I was pruning.  Yay!  I wonder if I'll get super-powers now.



  1. Just hope one of your superpowers is heat tolerance, eh?

  2. LOL. Not so far, but I'm a champ at sitting on my butt indoors with a glass of iced tea.

  3. Man, at least you handle the business. It's not nearly 113 degrees around here, but I really can't make myself trim any of the plants around my house. Good for you.


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