Gardening Magazine

Tree Following December 2019 - the Last Leaf

By Ozhene @papaver

We have arrived at the last month of the year and meteorologically winter began on December 1st. Personally I admit to being a 'winter starts after the soltice' sort of girl and as I look at the garden it still feels like late autumn.

Tree following December 2019 - the last leaf

Quince Minor is now bereft of leaves. They have all fallen and the new buds for next year are forming well. I stand and look at them, inspecting, wondering: "which one of you holds the quince?" I whisper. Quince Minor stands resolutely silent, this is not a secret to be shared.

Tree following December 2019 - the last leaf

Quince Major stands tall. We both know the quince-competence is there and now we do not talk of 'if ' or 'when' but 'how many'. Quince Major's contention is that quality is more important than quantity and I agree, I do agree. We stand in silent discussion with each other. I do not want my wish for quinces to overwhelm Quince Major, I do not want to want too much; and yet, and yet.......

Tree following December 2019 - the last leaf

Quince Major really is getting quite tall and the singular quince produced this year was too high up for me to pick. I have secateurs in my pocket whilst we are talking and I am snipping off young branchlets that if left to grow will not aid the air circulation through the tree. I look up at the tallness and wonder if I could/should reshape the tree a little. Now is a good time to do it if I am going to.

Tree following December 2019 - the last leaf

So of course I did. I removed the tall branch in the hope it will concentrate efforts. I apologised to the tree as I always do when removing branches. "It's for your own good" seem hollow words but I hope they understand the intention is well meant.

Tree following December 2019 - the last leaf

As I walk away from Quince Major, the last leaf looks at me forlornly. This is not a tree that gives up to winter easily, it is not a tree that gives up. Spring will soon be with us and life will return. For now the quest for a quince slips into its winter retreat. Sleep well my trees, sleep well.

More followed trees can be found under the guardianship of Squirrelbasket

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