Tuesday, 31 March 2009

How SCARY can it get ? .. Not for the faint of heart !

There is a point to the title of this post .. as you scroll down you will see it .. and I'm not talking about the red horns on my beloved Sumac tree folks !
Last Spring was the first year I truly went the stretch and did a full "pollard" technique on my favorite (Halloween) tree .. Number one husband almost had a heart attack when he saw what I did (after the fact of course .. I wasn't going to tell him before hand .. he might have thrown himself on the poor tree and scared it )
We had seen the system used heavily in Europe when we lived in Holland and quite frankly I thought it shocking and cruel .. go figure, how many bad haircuts can you have before it imprints on the brain and you are concerned for everything on that level ?
It grew on me .. snort giggle giggle .. it is near my bed time and I'm silly, OK ?
So .. I wanted to see if I could create a special, unseen ever before, affect on my Sumac.
You should have seen the look on Number One Hubby's face too : )
This is last Autumn's picture ...
This is a few days ago ..
See !! ... SCARY isn't it ? ... believe me, it is scary to me too .. I still hold my breath and wonder if the miracle will happen and my beautiful Sumac will put on the best show possible for a gorgeous Halloween tree created by me : )
For good measure I had to include a picture of last years greenery below the Sumac .. where Jack Frost and his friends live .. I'm looking forward to seeing them soon !

The "deck-guys" say they might just start the demolition Thursday so we have to get the rest of the nonsense off the deck .. get the ear plugs out .. serve Schnapps to the cats .. and turn the TV sound up higher.. actually.. nothing we don't do on a regular basis here anyways ?


Nat said...

I have always loved sumacs, although, in my neck of the woods, they are considered weeds by most. I am very interested to see how things go once it starts to leaf out. I know you'll post lots of picture for us! :D

Meadowview Thymes said...

I'm sure it will be just fine. We are going to be will be OK! (tell yourself this over and over!) :)
I bet it will be just as beautiful--try not to worry too much!

Gail said...

The vignette at the base of your halloween Sumac is one of my favorites from your garden...and I would never take pruners in are a brave gardener! I love sumac! gail

Cathy said...

Now that's scary, but when I did that to a tree in my garden it didn't look the same until the second summer. Hopefully it won't take that long for your tree.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Well, the "before" shot is gorgeous, so I assume you are doing it for the best of the tree. I'll withhold my judgment until next fall, let's see how it fares this growing season. I love all the garden art and decoration you have scattered among your beds and on the fence!

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

I love that little garden against your fence, Joy. I need earplugs too. They're building a bank just down the block. And a little down from that, a hotel!

VW said...

Those last pictures of the garden were beautiful. I've got Jack Frost on my want list! Along with other shade-lovers. When all my trees get big I'm going to have plenty of places for them. I like the picture of the sumac from last fall. Sumac seems like the type of tree that wouldn't mind crazy pruning. Good luck with yours.

cindee said...

I was not scared. I think your Sumac will do just great! You should see mine. I guess I should take a picture of it. I don't prune it unless it is hanging in the way. It is 20 years old. My Great Aunt gave me a start and I just let it grow. It was only about a foot tall at the time I planted it(-: It grows sparsely and not have a thick leaf cover like yours does. Maybe I need to do a little haircut(-:

DirtDigger (Tessa) said...

Schnapps to the cats- you kill me! Well, I'll look forward to seeing how your tree does! It is a little scary! Again, Joy, your gardens are beautiful!

gittan said...

I do live that Sumac tree! I wish mine would look like that. But I've figured out that we bought the wrong kind that's missing those red horns. Great post! / gittan

Aiyana said...

The Sumac is absolutely gorgeous in the first photo. What is the tree to the left in that photo? At first glance it looks like Bottlebrush, but I doubt that tree would grow in your climate.

Pollarding was a popular thing to do when people in Arizona still planted Mulberry and Chinaberry trees. Those are no longer used here, so I haven't seen this pruning method for about 30 years. Most folks who had such trees got rid of them because of their high water usage and all the maintenance issues with litter, and the yearly pollarding to keep them a manageable size and shape. Also, both are allergenic.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Nat .. There are almost in the same esteem here too .. they grow much shorter than mine and in large colonies .. but I have always loved them no matter what they did ! .. That first picture of it looking gorgeous is the result of the first pollard from last year .. so fingers crossed it will grow in a similar shape again : )

Hi MT .. you are a great "positive" thinking coach girl ! .. I'm going to rely on you when I do a wobble and start to panic ? LOL

Gail.. Thanks girl !
I'm not sure what possessed me that day last Spring .. I just needed to know if it was
possible .. I took a chance ? : )

Hi Cathy .. well , it went into this beautiful shape fairly fast in the Spring and filled out more and more as the summer progressed .. so I'm hoping the same schedule will happen this year too .. what kind of a tree did you do it to ? I'm curious !!

Hi Nola .. Thanks girl ! I love bits and pieces of whimsy ? .. I'm hoping growth of the leaves will progress the same as last year .. so it is a bit of a waiting game at first ..

Brenda ... Thanks ! it is one of my favorite spots too !
Ouch .. that is a lot of noise to put up with .. we hate noise .. they are building quite a bit at our end of town too .. so I know what you mean :(

Hi VW .. I want more Jacks as well .. I couldn't believe how the foliage held up all summer with our heat and humidity .. I can wholeheartedly recommend it ! .. I just bought 4 dicentra roots, two "King of Hearts" and two "Aurora" .. I'd love to find "Burning Hearts" too .. shade gardening is NICE ! : )

Cindee ... "use the force" girl !! LOL .. mine was just a little guy too ! maybe 2 feet high ? .. it would have grown very shrubby if I didn't prune it to a canopy style then the pollard .. it is my Halloween tree : ) .. I know yours is too ? LOL

Tessa .. Thanks !
Yes girl ! Schnapps ! LOL
We do hate noise here .. so that is going to drive us up the walls for a while but I can't wait to get these jobs done and have the garden to myself again !

Hi gittan .. there are quite a few cultivars of Sumac .. Tiger Eye is one I would like to have as well. There is always another plant we all would like to have ! LOL

Hi Aiyana .. the tree to the left with the red berries ? .. that is a Mountain Ash .. you are right , the Bottlebrush would not survive in our zone. We do love the Mountain Ash ... and so do the birds : ).. I haven't seen another Sumac pruned this way so I was going out on a limb .. cheesy eh ? .. but the results last year were perfect .. so hopefully it will be again this year !

tina said...

It's a beautiful tree and I do hope the pollarding works the way you wish it too. I remember those trees in Germany cut like that. It worked on the city streets and was unique. I was wondering if you did the cutting for the enlarged trunk or if you hope the sumac would put on more growth with those fabulous 'horns'?

our friend Ben said...

Gulp... let's hope it forgives you for that! And what a gorgeous garden underneath. (Why am I not surprised?!) Even as I write, our powwer company is hacking away at our trees... yikes... of course I can't go out there and bother them, but I'm afraid, very afraid...

VP said...

Fingers crossed it works! So glad you posted about your Sumac so soon after mentioning it in a comment over at mine :)

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will bounce back Joy. Don't fret too much and hopefully your deck project will be done soon so the poor cats don't lose their minds. :)

Cameron (Defining Your Home) said...

LOL! My, my -- you are in good spirits! :-) I'm sure you'll have a fantastic Halloween tree.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Tina .. I did the pollard last year and it grew into that beautiful shape you see in the first picture .. when I got it .. it was a "shrub" but I was determined to see if I could train it as a canopy tree .. I was severe with pruning it back for a couple of years .. the doubled trunk thickened up from doing that.
So fingers crossed I get the same results again ! These trees , some of the Dutch pruned to look almost like huge Bonsi .. an ancient "look" to them and I was hooked on that ! Beautiful !

"ben" ... Yikes ! I have seen some very sad trees after the utility company has to do its thing .. I'd be worried too .. but trees are fairly resilient and it might be not too bad ? in the end ?

VP ! .. I have to go back to yours and see what I said girl .. snap goes another neuron in this tired brain again ? LOL

Racquel .. girl they have to actually start work on this darn deck .. the only work so far is us moving things around and off of it .. I'm getting a tad testy ? LOL
maybe I should be drinking the Schnapps ??? ; )

Cameron .. I hopes so too girl .. one year my Sumac is not going to put up with me testing it to its limits ?

Carrie said...

oh my goodness - i know how you hubby feels. I wince and feel upset when or lovely trees get pruned - but that, my god! Hope it works out for you and it is even more beatiful than it was (by the way, it WAS beautiful).

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Carrie .. thank you ! it looked just as stark last Spring and I'm hoping the same affect will happen again this year .. but you just never know do you ? LOL ..
That is what is great about Sumacs though .. they are a tough breed : )