Friday, August 14, 2015

I Like Big Fat Bottoms and Size Matters.

Who doesn't like big bottoms on trees?  If Kim Kardashian were a sexy sycamore, she would be awesome.  If Nicky Minaj were an Ironbark Eucalyptus, she would be spectacular but sassy.  If Taylor Swift were a tree, she might be a weeping golden willow.  She's pretty slender, and she would also probably write about other trees done wrong.

The point is, trees should have substantial junk in the trunk in relation to their overall bulk and height.  Branches should be smaller than the trunk at the point they connect, and there are certain ratios that would be perfect for each tree.

When trees come home to live with you from the nursery, they're too skinny.  The growers encourage this overly-lanky development so they can get as much height as possible quickly, like the tree is going out for the NBA.  Trees look their best when they get some girth, have some permanence, can withstand a strong wind, have bark that's as much a feature as the leaves or flowers, and actually a tree.

This is one thing that's really important for most bonsai.  They actually have the proportions of mature trees, even though they're only 18 inches tall, give or take.  I'm told that the ultimate goal of girth for a bonsai is an inch of trunk diameter for each 6 or 7 inches in height.  I would say that for most yard trees, one foot of trunk base diameter for every 10 to 20 feet in height is good.  Once trees get to be 80 or 100 years old, the diameter ratio is getting up there and looking like a tree really wants to look.

Pay attention to girth and you'll be much more impressed.  Size matters.  Do what you can to fatten up your trees.  I know how to do this.  I'm good at fattening myself up too.

Therapist, Not THE RAPIST, for Your Trees

Therapist, not The Rapist.  Sometimes having auto spell correction go awry can get people all panicky.  Isn't it funny that the two terms are complete opposites? Your trees all need therapy.  Think of me as a tree therapist.   If something isn't right,  I'll just cut it off and that will be the end of that problem.  If you want drugs for your trees, call someone else.  I only deal with surgery and moral support.  Most people actually do kinda rape your trees, albeit unwittingly, and you don't want that.

Most people really don't know what it takes to help trees be their best.  They usually don't pick the right trees for the ongoing relationship.  Then, they neglect them or completely mismanage them until they see things aren't right.  Imagine if their family members were so abused.

At that point, they usually hack at the tree themselves with little education or proper equipment or get someone equally or even more unqualified  and less attached to hack it up for them.  This usually makes things worse.  It can take several to many years to overcome a single hacking festival.  I figure for every poor pruning job, there's at least 2 years needed to recover once the trauma ends.  3 or 4 years of mistreatment means once it gets on the right track, it might be 5 to 10 years before it can look good again.   And maybe never if it was really screwed up.

Some people think trees can take perfect care of themselves,  but this isn't true and I'll explain why in a future post.  On the other hand,  bad pruning is worse than no pruning at all.  Even worse, some people hire arborists to do the needed work.  Most arborists are good at diagnosing problems and fixing them to an extent.  But they usually aren't very good at making trees look great.  They're more like a mechanic working on your transmission, when what you need is someone who has the visual skills and finesse of someone who paints the car.  Or like a proctologist when mostly what you need is a plastic surgeon.

That's where I come in.   I do what they call aesthetic pruning.  This is what you apply to pretty much every tree for which the purpose is to look good and be healthy, not to make juice or sweet, crunchy nuts for you.

You don't just prune a tree every few years and expect it to look great.   The best trees are maintained throughout most of the year.  Ultimately this doesn't take much longer, and can save time in the long run.   Trees that are maintained properly will avoid losing branches or toppling in a big storm.  And managing a tree while it's 20 feet tall rather than waiting until it's 50 makes everything much better and safer.

Spreading the TreeDawg Seed

Spreading my seed is something I've always wanted to do.  Fun.  However, I spend a lot more time dealing with the established seeds of others.

Trees are one of my biggest passions.  Collecting, pruning, studying and hugging.  I have some definite goals with my own growing collection of trees,  and some are yet to be determined.

In addition,  I manage and repair and improve trees for others but avoid hugging them.  It pains me to see how the vast majority of trees are badly managed even when most people think things are fine or they're just unaware.  I aim to make everyone's trees as spectacular as even a mundane tree can be.  Even if they look bad now, there's a good chance they can be greatly improved.

My plan for this blog is to discuss all things about trees as they come about, with a big focus on learning about tree species and properly managing what we have.  If you hang in there with me,  you can learn to appreciate trees much more than you do now.  If you don't appreciate trees now, well, then, life holds little hope for you.  Trees are your best friends and you don't even realize it.

Please forgive my punnery and use of unorthadox saucy language for my tree lovin' articles.  I assure you it's really harmless.  Just bear with me and you won't feel a thing.