It’s spring. The nights are getting shorter. There’s more daylight and, wonder of wonders, it’s not raining quite so much anymore.
Over the last few weekends I have been out pruning our trees prior to any new spring growth. Late winter is a great time for pruning many trees particularly if you want to use your garden shredder to reduce the amount of waste. For deciduous trees there are obviously no leaves at this time of year and there is relatively little sap too. Cutting can be a bit more difficult as the wood can be a bit hard and tough. Shredding is a breeze though. As long as the branches and clippings will fit in the feeder it’s going to get shredded. Absolutely no chance of any blockages.
At least there isn’t as long as you are sensible. Sad to say I’m not renowned for being sensible. I always like to push the boundaries and see just how much the shredder can cope with. Last weekend I challenged the shredder a bit too much and it jammed solid. Took me a good 20 minutes to prise the branch out of the gear wheel. It still works OK but the motor is now making a bit of a strange noise. It seems that the motor mounting may have got moved and I am going to have to take it apart to make sure it can all turn properly. Being a Bosch, it made a bit more noise than usual but it finished the job without any more drama.
We have what I would call a medium sized garden but we still have: 3 maples, a willow, one apple tree, one plum tree and one tree that I don’t know the name but is colloquially called the umbrella tree. On a bright, cold but sunny morning there didn’t look to be too much work to do. The priority are always the maples. Each year there’s a good 4-6 feet of growth on each tree. If I didn’t prune them regularly they would soon stop sunlight reaching the garden.
As I say, when you are stood on the ground none of the trees looks too big. 3 hours into pruning the first tree and I knew I needed some help. Luckily my 15 year old son was feeling more human that teenager and he came out to help. It probably should be said that his climbing and cutting techniques would not satisfy modern health and safety but, being much lighter than me he could reach places that were a challenge for me and my ladder and pruning went much faster.
Young son is not interested in shredding though. The novelty has worn off and there isn’t the physical challenge of climbing the trees. That job fell to me. This time I remembered to take some video footage to show the shredder in operation and to show the nature of the shreddings. I need to download it from my phone and do a bit of editing before posting the video here though.
Enough rambling. Just remember, late winter, early spring – before any buds or signs of growth – is a great time to prune trees. It’s a brilliant time to use your garden shredder. It’s a pretty good time to buy a shredder too with the chance of a few deals as merchants look to move stock in the slow winter months.
Oh, an afterthought, don’t prune lilac at this time of year. You will almost certainly lose most of the new buds and end up with a bush that looks very bare for a year.