Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tree Trimming Troubles

I am not a gardener. I've never taken an interest and don't really like to get my hands dirty. My husband is the one who takes care of planting, weeding, watering and trimming. He enjoys gardening and takes pride in a job well done. 

The problem is my husband has been working from Guelph for the past couple years which leaves little time for gardening. I had been mentioning that I thought our maple tree needed trimming. It drops a lot of twigs and leaves onto our lower patio and into the pool plus I was having to duck to walk around the table on our upper patio. Every time I mentioned it, my husband suggested I could do it. I suppose he never imagined I would bother.

Well on Saturday after enjoying a relaxing day by the pool followed by a delicious steak dinner and glass of wine, I decided to take on trimming the tree. I also wanted to move our festive red lights which were hidden by the branches and leaves. I thought they would look great wrapped around the trunk.

I climbed on the wall and started tugging at the lights and breaking off small branches. Hearing me snapping branches, my husband had me stop until he could get me secateurs to cut the branches properly. His only advice was to be careful as they were sharp and he didn't want me getting hurt.

With secateurs in hand, I was happily pruning branches and making great progress until my husband looked up from his tablet and criticized. He hadn't realized I planned to do more than just move the lights and was dismayed to see a huge gaping hole in the branches. He compared it to cutting a hole in the middle of my hair and wondered if I would like that.

I tried to lighten the mood and defend my actions by remembering that I had dealt with bangs chopped unnaturally short a few years ago. My husband was clearly not impressed and didn't appreciate my comments. 

When I stepped back to look, I could see why he was upset. Our tree is lopsided plus we can see through the gap to our neighbour's deck. I would have been fine with that if my husband hadn't complained saying it would take years to correct. Oh dear, what a mess. Luckily I like our neighbours a lot so I don't really mind the gap. I would like to fix the lopsidedness but I'll leave it alone as I don't want to risk making things worse. 

For now, I plan to embrace my tree trimming troubles with lights. I wrapped our red lights around the trunk, a branch in the middle of the gap, the fence and a few bare branches in our Rose of Sharon. Since I can't fix it, I'll celebrate it.

I took these photos last night. I'm working on being OK with messing up our tree and decided to fess up. This picture shows our lopsided tree. It's not exactly the look I was going for but I can live with it. 
From the lower patio it looks just fine. At least I think it looks fine.
I like seeing the trunk and branches wrapped in festive red lights all year round.
From the upper patio, we can look up into the tree. It used to be hidden by low hanging branches and leaves. Our cat should be easier to find when she sneaks out of the house and takes refuge in this tree.
I wasn't kidding about my bangs either. For Christmas 2009, I insisted my hairdresser cut my bangs really, really short. What was I thinking? My husband and son were taken aback when I arrived home. Of course, I claimed to be happy with the look even though I was secretly appalled and couldn't wait for them to grow out.
We had planned a family trip to California to visit our daughter and son-in-law right after Christmas so I have lots of photos featuring my very short bangs. 
Here we are at Disneyland for New Year's Eve (photo above). The hats were free and part of the celebrations. My kids teased I looked like Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I had to laugh when I Googled the photo below.
My husband has forgiven me. I really was trying to make things better when I tackled the tree and I take full responsibility for the new look. 

I lost sleep over my Tree Trimming Troubles this weekend but I'm satisfied with my solution and look forward to watching the tree slowly improve over the next few years. 

I think I'll leave gardening to my husband and stick with crochet. Crochet is much more fun and I love that mistakes are easily fixed.

What about you? Have you ever taken on a project and messed up?


  1. Tree pruning may look easy, but there's a technique into it. There are branches than can be pruned, and which can't be touched. Perhaps hiring someone to do the job for you should work if your husband isn't around should do the trick next time? I hope your tree is doing well by now! I hope all is doing well on your end. Take care!

    Mike Gurung @ Bay Area Tree Specialists

    1. Yes, the tree is just fine. It's not totally balanced but seems healthy enough. Thanks for taking time to comment. B.