Changing Seasons : June 2018…

June has been the month of changing light in the garden. It has been BIG pruning time. The Cane Palms have been taken down to a quarter of their size (see here) letting in so much light and space. But as I said that was only the start.

Jack has the bit between his teeth and the extendable chainsaw in his hands. There is no stopping him, he prowls around. What’s next?

Then he sets his sights on the paperbark tree. I can almost see it cringing in anticipation of what is to come. It has had this treatment before.

Let me take you back to 2014…Oct 2014 garden pc 007_3000x4000This photo was taken in October 2014. I am standing on the top deck to take this photo. Can you visualize how high this tree is? It is the height of a 2 story house. We inherited this tree when we moved in. Now this is a seriously big native tree in a very small section, but how beautiful it is when in full flower and the birds love its nectar rich flowers.Oct 2014 garden pc 010_4000x3000I loved this tree too, but it had to be controlled. So the decision was made to prune it back, not just prune it, but pollard it. Enter Big Jim and his team of tree cutters. This tree was way too tall for us to tackle.

Big Jim tree cutting 050_4000x3000I wondered if we had killed it. Did you notice the other tall tree to the left of the paperbark? It came down also to this height. But native trees are real tough survivors and 18 months later this is that same tree.May 2015 garden 095_3000x4000It is now manageable and Jack is able to keep it under control.

Back to this month. Jack decides it is hair-cut time for the paperbark. Unfortunately I did not take a before photo. But here is the finished job.paperbark prune 022_3888x5184paperbark prune 003_5184x3888We can now see into the neighbour’s garden. Jack is cleaning the fish pond. Look at the pile of branches.paperbark prune 005_3888x5184They all cut down to beautiful mulch material. Mission accomplished Jack can now put the chainsaw away.

So here you can see, on the left is 2014, on the right now. How much bigger the yard looks with the tree pruned back.


Su Leslie of “Zimmerbitch” is hosting a monthly challenge “changing seasons” were she invites you to share the changing seasons in your part of the world, or something that means June. Pop over to see the rules of this monthly challenge.



  1. It should be fine. That sort of pruning is not tolerated here, not even among those of us who are proponents of pollarding. We at least leave a few branches to develop knuckles. However, the technique is effective, especially if the only option is removal. I would just recommend keeping the weight minimal. If the limbs get too heavy, they will just tear off where the develop from the main trunk. That Melaleuca happens to be the main street tree on North Santa Cruz Avenue downtown. It was planted back in the early 1970. Although presently unpopular, it has done very well, and has caused surprisingly minimal damage to the pavement. To me, that is a great track record. However, many do not think that it is pretty enough for out downtown.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Back in 1990, I had to take a delivery truck out, and sneakily stopped downtown for lunch on my way back. Truck are not allowed downtown, but this was a relatively small delivery truck, so I though I could get away with it. However, when I pulled away from the curb, I tore off a big piece of one of those trees. The tree was fine. So was the jogger who happened to be on the sidewalk at the time. However, for years, I could not help but feel guilty about it. The tree is gone now, and replaced with a cheap crape myrtle. That happened illegally when they adjacent building was renovated.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I did agonise about pollarding it Jude. But it was that or take it right out it does eventually grow huge. It does recover very quickly and from ground level we cannot see the neighbours and everyone that side is single story so they cannot see into our patch of dirt…. In the 1970’s the original owners had planted 4 huge rainforest trees along the back boundary, they would’ve been just seedlings back then, when we came, 20 years later, they were showing their potential, 2 we did take out, the other 2 we just keep trimmed up

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  2. Lovely post Pauline. I’m envious that you’re out in the garden while I’m looking at mine through rain-streaked windows. The Big T is a great believer in chain-saw gardening, but I don’t think any of our trees need his attention at the moment. 🙂


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