Saturday, 20 November 2010

Pruning the Atholl Pines

The Atholl pines and the powerlines
Spiky cactus
I spent this morning pruning the first of three re-growing Atholl pine trees on my adjacent block. ETSA cut them back some while back - they threatened power lines - but they have regrown tall shoots from the bases, and each shoot is like a ten metre tree on its own. Yes, I know. Shouldn't have waited this long. Actually I wrote to the utility company a year ago and asked them to finish the job they started. No reply. Anyway, there is now the start of a wood supply for next winter's fires in the hearth.

As an afterthought, chainsaw in hand, I tackled a giant cactussy plant to remove the spiky leaves (I suppose they are leaves, botanically speaking) which seemed to be aimed at my eye level. I do wear eye protection for these activities. The 3-metre plant now looks neater and perfectly healthy, if slightly annoyed. However, the juicy cactus goo made chainsaw clean-up a messier process than usual ... and anyone who cleans chainsaws knows it's not simply a matter of a quick rub-down with an oily rag. You dismantle the blooming thing, remove chain from bar, clean, re-assemble, remember to top up the oil reservoir, sharpen dozens of cutting edges with the special tool first on one side then the other.

Plums in waiting
I hope the garden appreciates the attention. Plenty of fruit has "set" on the trees; nectarines, plums, quinces, pears, fig, almonds (which I leave for the parrots), lemons. Oranges are pickable but a bit small.. It's no orchard. We're talking just one or two trees of each! There's even a little old apple tree having a last fling. Fruit set well last year too, but in the drought-like conditions each tree sensibly shed most of it.

Warm and sunny today - taste of a hot summer up ahead

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