Pollarding ornamental mulberries

mulberryfinishedI just nipped out to check. Nope. No one has picked up all the sticks littering the courtyard. Guess that job will have to fall to me then.  I’ll just enjoy this cup of tea and plate of biscuits first.  You never know; a passing house elf might grub about the ground and get all the sticks into the wheelbarrow for me. As a treat.

It’s a vile job.

mulberrytopruneAlmost as vile as pruning the mulberry. For ten years now I have turned all my instincts away from what is staring me in the face.  This tree needs to get all its annual growth of branches lopped off and turn it into a parody of a tree.

It’s a French thing.


Well, I’m happy to prune fruit bushes. But trees? So radically?

Each year I wonder what the tree would look like if I just forgot to do this annual task.  And then I chicken out; get the loppers and the ladder and do my annual radical prune.


The tree looks so absurd when it’s done.  The new growth won’t get going until late May. But this is the dormant season, so out come the secateurs for the little branches, and the loppers for the mighty fat ones.

Which always seem to be at the top.  I just have to sigh and think of it as a rather good yoga workout and console myself that I am conforming to the job most people do at this time of year round here.

I even did the grape vines in the arbour as well.  Any warmer and the sap will start to rise and I’d really be in trouble.  Bleeding stumps of grape vines are definitely not on the agenda.

Hey ho, tea is done. Out I go.