by David Mas Masumoto
January 26, 2014
The Sacramento Bee
My father taught me how to prune a peach tree.
He began with an old tree with weaker branches and gaps where a limb had died and was sawed off. Why a misshapen specimen? Because my sage father knew I was young and learning how to prune; he wisely didn’t want to sacrifice a good tree.
Our pruning shears were designed for trees with big branches. The head had a curved blade and when cutting into a large branch, the wood was not pushed outward but drawn inward, perfectly aligning with the cutting blade. We could quickly snip and cut with rapid, fluid motions.
The biggest lesson was that trees like to be pruned. They wanted to be sliced and diced. They needed annual haircuts and longed to be freed of their rank growth.