|Manzanita in foreground|
If I were a good forester would go out each morning and groom my park, but it's painstaking work, as the long needles get tangled in the various convoluted branches and sift down underneath the lower canopies.
When I was stretching my back to this task yesterday it turned into a general tidying-up of the "woods." I pruned the manzanita some more, trying to maintain head clearance above the path it wants to span. We've already widened the path as much as possible to accommodate our favorite little tree.
My other goal in trimming it is to keep the natural curves of the shrub, so I try to envision the direction of future growth. Ideally it wouldn't need pruning at all, but when we planted it we didn't anticipate its leaning so sharply northward. I removed dead twigs and every needle I could see.
Then it was all ready for a photo session.
That pine tree looks amazingly healthy in the photo at top, but in this one you can see some of the clumps of brown needles just waiting to fall.
If we just focus in on one or two needles in a small space, they actually look artistically placed and ornamental.
I brought the manzanita prunings indoors to decorate my table.
They make me so happy.