Hard pruning a mulberry

I”m a month late but I think I got away with it.

This is one of my big winter tasks. Cutting back all the annual growth on the decorative mulberry tree in the courtyard.

I was concerned that being away for a month and returning just at the beginning of spring meant the sap would be rising and I would miss my chance.

And believe me, you don’t want this tree to go unpruned.

It’s one of those hilarious things you see all over France. What on earth are people doing pollarding so many trees so brutally?

Plane trees in village squares are the main eyesore. But this one also looks ridiculous after it’s radical cut.

But the growth. The growth!

This tree will put on five feet of whippy growth each and every year. And I’ve noticed that the branches are starting to crack from the weight of the incipient length.

Dare I? Should I?

Taking the very cautious route, I have just cut back five or six of the worst offenders. The ones which take out my back window windscreen wiper if I drive under the tree with the back boot up.

Yes, yes, you may think that’s a touch eccentric. But the gap between our two houses is so narrow that when you drive up to park the car the best way to navigate is to lift the station wagon boot up and crane your whole body around and watch the gap through the back of the car. Trust me, it’s the only way.

I used to park the car over in the parking area near the edge of the forest… until mice decided to nest in the engine and under the bonnet and chew the wires. So a hard surface near a house and far from the forest seems to be the unsightly solution.

That’s an old drone shot before we demolished the bread oven and built the extension. And the climbing wall in the barn.

And before I built all my raised beds in the potager.

Ah, the old days.

And I had to explain to the Creature that the old days of me being glued to this desk and the laptop and having her on my lap while I do my research are definitely over.

If she wants my undivided attention she will need to follow me about the garden.

I have finished the monster project indoors… now it’s outdoors and all the fun of being a gardener again.