Thursday, 12 January 2017

Of pruning and pigeons

In previous posts when I have been hacking  pruning trees and roses I have referred to Monty Don's imaginary pigeons.  These pigeons like to fly in formation through said trees and roses and require all cross-branches and encumbrances removed.  Monty has enforced this view on me very strongly and as I hack prune I imagine these pigeons flying through.
Then at the weekend Alys Fowler wrote a piece for the Guardian about how to prune deciduous trees.  Whilst Alys does not refer to the pigeon squadron who are queuing up to practice their Red Arrows displays through the trees, I think it is clear from her advice that subliminal pigeons were involved.  The cross branches and rubbing branches are advised to be removed and other good solid advice is given.  It is clearly an article to prevent hacking and encourage actual pruning.  I read the article carefully, inserted the pigeons into where I thought they should be and was happy.

A couple of days pass and then the Guardian printed a letter from Paul Casey which refutes the need for removing rubbing branches. Indeed the letter says that rubbing branches is important for the trees and help reduce branch failure.

Well, firstly this is fascinating information and could be quite a lively debate.....

but........

.......well you know what I'm going to say don't you?....

Spare a thought for the poor pigeons!  If we stop hacking pruning trees and roses into pigeon-friendly spaces then where will they fly?  How will they train in the necessary fancy flights of swooping, swerving and swiveling as befits their flights of fancy?

As I thought about this further I realised that I was humming to myself  'Stop the Pigeon' from Dastardly and Muttley a cartoon that those of a certain age will remember, which was a spin-off from Wacky Races.  
 
I worry for the pigeons and all those rubbing branches.  I worry that I might now be mixing up Monty and Nigel for Dastardly and Muttley.........

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