Pruning the pear tree

My husband goes by the book. Literally. He has about 10 different gardening books he sifts through before he does anything. My philosophy is, “Well, my mom does this every year and it works for her.” Or my newest version:

Me: “Well, Ed did it and it worked.”
My husband: “Who’s Ed?”
Me: “You know, from The Garden at 8505.”
My husband: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Me: “From the blog. You know Ed, the gardener whose wife wrote the post about the no-poo.”
My husband: “No-poo?”
Me: “She wrote a post about using no shampoo. You know, the one who pruned his pear trees with his son. I showed you last week.”
My husband: “Oh yeah. The guy in the hat.”

Or—“You know the woman from Bulgaria who has the two donkeys.” Or “Marcia, the one from south Florida that always does the write-ups on the local festivals.” Or I only have to say “Nadine” or “Polish mom photographer” and he’s got it. Sometimes, as I sit here typing away, I imagine them sitting around the table with me typing on their own lap tops. “Can you pass the tea?” one of them will ask.

I’ve been blogging so much, I speak about other bloggers like they’re my neighbors. People I’ve known for years. I look forward to their posts, their stories. It’s the friendships and the new things I’m learning that I like the most. Like an interactive class of some sort on life.

So, when Ed said back in January it was the prime time to prune the pear tree, my ears perked up. We have a pear tree in our back yard, and it didn’t produce big fruit this year. Maybe I could remedy that. So, when my husband arrived home, here I came with my line.

Me: “Ed says right now is the time to prune the pear tree.”
My husband: “Ed who?”
(Insert conversation from above.)

My husband: “I don’t know. I don’t want to cut too much back.”
Me: “Well, Ed already did his tree, so I think we should do it.”

I wacked that thing to death only to go back and read Ed’s post days later and it said, “since I have nothing to lose.” Oops. That wasn’t the wording I remembered. With crap upper body strength, I’d pointed at all the branches I thought should go, and my dear sweet husband fought me all the way. “We’re cutting back too much. We’re going to kill it.”

So, when Ed wrote his post There’s Β life in them limbs, I immediately went out to examine ours.


My husband: “Well, we did prune our tree weeks after he did his. Give it time. But I’m afraid we might have killed it.
Me: “No we didn’t. It’s impossible to kill a tree.”
My husband: “No, it isn’t.”
Me: “Yes, it is.”
My husband: “My book says…”
Me: “Well, Ed says it isn’t.”
(Though he didn’t really say this, it sounded good at the time.)

Weeks later…

We can sleep easy. We didn’t kill it, after all. And like I said, I don’t need no stinkin’ book. ED SAID. And that’s usually what I go by. What someone says or does is just as good as any book—when it comes to gardening at least! After all, they’ve done it and I’ve heard about it. But I don’t know the author of that book.

My husband disagrees.Β “It’s written by experts,” he says.

Yeah, well.
I don’t know that guy.
I know Ed.

Other articles about pruning and pears:

27 responses to “Pruning the pear tree

  1. I’m no expert, but I did do my research before I started. Our pears are starting to perk up even more. I never finished the second tree before it woke up but even it is fuller compared to last year. There is value in books by experts. I read up as much as I could stand and went to YouTube since I’m such a visual learner. Congrats!

    • Ha! I knew you’d say that. I told my husband, Ed’s really humble. He’ll say read the book. But I knew you did your research and seriously, this tree couldn’t get any worse. It looked so sad. My mom always says, you can’t ever really prune too much. It will come back. It’s just nature’s way.
      Thanks for the heads up of WHEN to do it though. My husband thinks we might have just “corrected” the tree. It was growing in all crazy sorts of directions and hadn’t been pruned for years. But I’m HOPING for some pears in the fall. I guess we’ll see….anyway. Thank you! Your posts are always so upbeat and fun to read!

      • The coolest thing is you gave me a nickname, Ed the Gardner;) I’m sure my wife would agree to that moniker.

  2. This is too funny! Glad the tree is okay. I am such a noob at gardening…maybe if I would have researched before last year my garden could have worked out! lol

    And I agree, I love the commenting part about blogging the best! That’s the most fun!

  3. thanks for the front row entertainment…nadine says–
    1)steep linden tea while silently considering strategy.
    2) cut at downward angle, as close to main limbs or trunk as possible.
    3) delete all the inner cross limbs..cross fingers to see picture.
    4) only prune around 10% of tree–
    5) scratch earth around trunk and work in some rich compost as tree reward.
    6) sit like a sage and drink tea. raise your cup to friends.
    7)stand back and breathe easy. tree will respond in time.
    you can kiss now!

  4. oops forgot to say.
    .4) go back in a week or two to finish job if you or the pear tree needs it.
    tree love to both..

  5. LOL!!! That sounds like Ed the Gardner and me (yes Ed, I agree). I hated trees being cut and he’d argue with me many times about it (because the books/researchers/experts said to do). But eventually over the time, I just let him try and pray that it’ll work. LOL. I just love big beautiful trees and I also agree that trees need nurturing (like my son needs a haircut). ;0)

  6. @ Ed–that’s what you’re known as around our house! πŸ™‚
    @Beth–you make me laugh. You are so much like me. I think we might have been twins in a past life!
    @Nadine–I like step #1 the best. I think we did do more than 10%. I think that’s what worried my man. And I’m not so sure I cut at the angle. Hmm…now I know!
    @TJ–Don’t you just love marriage? Those experts….they always win, it seems. I always love your comments! Thanks for reading!!

  7. it remainds me today’s conversation I had with my husband:
    J: Did you see my carrots?
    Me: No
    J: Oh well, they are there, poking out. Anyway, how do you know when the carrot is ready to be pulled out?
    Me: You just know.
    J: But how, I’m asking?
    Me: Becasue of it’s big green and thick leaves sticking out
    J: But how do you know they are big and thick enough?
    Me: I don’t know! YOU JUST KNOW!!!

    So, he ended up asking the Internet. lol
    and he came back with THE RIGHT answer that the Internet gave him.

    Jenn, I’m just like you. I know becausa I grew up watching (and helping) my parents and my grandmom to garden and I actually don’t have the expert-like answer for all those questions about growing stuff. I just know when it happens and sometimes I’m wrong or my knowledge is not good enough to explain something because there is SO MANY ways people garden and grow their food it’s impossible to know everything.

  8. @MomPhotographer—Ha! You’re so cute!

  9. expert amateur forebearers never had a book, neither did when i say 10% of tree or bush to cut each time, i mean, it’s gentler but not ever imperative..horticulture should not be an exact science..plants don’t explode spontaneously.

  10. Nadine–you made me laugh. “Just like people.” And as long as they don’t explode spontaneously we’re doing all right, right? πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: Pear Tree Update « The Garden at 8505

  12. This is too funny, Jennifer; number one I am glad to hear you can never prune a tree too much because I have two rose bushes I’ve been neglecting, I will now have a go at them tomorrow.
    Number two, I have a tendency to talk to Carl about fellow bloggers in pretty much the way you referenced above. We were at Walmart today when I mentioned your name as we were looking for deodorants, I convinced him to switch brands to something more natural, based on your post on the subject. Priceless! LOL

  13. Jennifer, you are so funny… well, I have a story about a tree that was pruned too severely and yep, it died. I love peaches, got a peach tree, had 2 awesomely delicious peaches the first season, the second season, 2 peaches. The third season, he prunes it and kills it!! I was sooo mad. He cut it to the ground, and then, next year, a new shoot comes up and grew crazy fast into a tree. Then, I said, just cut it down. Not sure it would have produced anyway from a shoot. Now, everytime I walk past the stump I give him trouble about the whole deal.

    I know what you mean about talking about other bloggers as if they are next door neighbors. have a great day there in GA!!

  14. oh, I was speaking of my husband in my comment above. just thought everyone knew that. :O

  15. I laughed out loud when I read this including the comments. I know what you mean about referring to fellow bloggers like they are right there with you.

    • @ Jody—so I’m not the only one! ha! We speak with them so much, it’s like they’re our friends!

      @Jesusknowsmyname—oh no! It can be pruned to death. My husband will love this. He won!

      @ Marcia—so funny you do the same as me and Jody! πŸ™‚
      So glad to hear you and Carl considered switching deoderants. It all started when my Aunt Jackie sent me that email about breast cancer. Who knows if it’s been proven but it made sense. The body is made to sweat, it clears out all the toxins. When we use anti-perspirant, it keeps us from sweating and the toxins have to go somewhere. So they build up. And since breast cancer is higher in women and we’re mainly the ones using that stuff—well….
      Getting used to sweating took a minute, but I’m okay with it now. It just feels different because I’ve been using that since I was a teen.
      I’ve heard good things about Tom’s. Packaging has a little to work on, but one step at a time. You made my day.

      • after i revived so many dead plants, neighbors began to call me –the resuscitator” , last example, the plumber ran over my last peach tree, i put tea bags, coffee grounds and eggshells around root and used a fork to stir it in, covered with grass clippings and compost..and forgot it…it worked as usual = the very art of neglect, a taoist approach..
        much laissez-faire to you my long distance ‘close-at-heart’ friend.

      • about the deoderont– I went to Whole Foods tonite planning to get the stuff you talked about but then chickened out- ha.

  16. My solution for gardening is to find a professional named Jesus. If he can’t make something grow, nobody can.

  17. Or my mother. I think she has all green fingers and toes. Not just a green thumb! If she can’t grow it, it can’t be grown. She trying her hand at orchids now, brave girl. Happy gardening everyone!

  18. @ Nadine–what a great story! You sound just like my mother. It just needed a little TLC and then to be left alone to heal, I suppose! I like that—the art of neglect. I do that all the time—out of business, really.

  19. @ Jody–you’re so cute! You don’t have to completely give up your old one, you know. You could try this one and if you hate it…you could go back to your old one. My hubby is still using his and I never smell him!

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