I could have taken a better picture of this tree. When I’m hustling down the garden path at the crack of dawn to go to work the morning sun gently highlights each branch and I think – I should get a photo of that! And I don’t. Tonight I was trimming the last few branches and took an evening shot of the final product.
“Finger-trimming” is actually a bonsai technique. The buds are pinched back as soon as the casing breaks over the end of the new growth. After five years or so the tree has a full and soft appearance and the overall growth is much reduced. The process takes time, and most years the task coincides painfully with mosquito season, but it is meditative work and well worth it. This little tree would be out of place in the lower garden at its natural height of 15′ or so – headed for 50′. I look forward to putting in some effort to keep it in proportion to its surroundings for at least the next 20 years.