The blooms on my lilac are beginning to fade. That means it’s about time to pull out the clippers and cut back the branches. Not because I have a vendetta against purple flowers, but because it will keep the tree a manageable size and keep the beautiful blossoms down where I can enjoy them next spring!

Lilacs are not the only tree that needs an occasional pruning. Here’s a short list of reasons to prune:

  • Promote tree health by removing diseased, damaged, or dead branches.
  • Remove branches that cross each other or rub together.
  • Thin for better air movement and light penetration.
  • Encourage fruit and flower development.
  • Control the size, keep in proportion, and shape in the right direction.
  • Remove obstructing lower branches.
  • Safety for surrounding property and people in case of falling branches.

Pruning is a corrective and preventive measure. It helps develop a strong framework for fruit production. And it results in strong, healthy, and attractive plants. Because pruning deliberately removes branches before nature runs its course and breaks off branches during storms, the wounds created by pruning are smaller and heal more quickly.

What’s that got to do with my life? Well, have you ever felt overgrown? Like you can’t breathe or see the light under the weight of all your obligations? Have you been weakened through physical or emotional illness? Are your goals conflicting with each other? Do those around you occasionally experience the fallout? Are you growing faster than your root structure can support? Are you carrying around dead weight? Are you bearing fruit?

If so, it might be time to pull out the pruning shears and cut back in a few areas. Realign your priorities. Envision the direction you want to grow. Cut activities that run counter to your goals.  Create room to breathe in your cluttered schedule. Focus on getting healthy before permanent damage is done.

After all, don’t we all want to be healthy, strong, fruit-bearing trees?

What about you? When was the last time you experienced pruning in your life? Was it painful or liberating (or both)?

Like A Tree – Pruning
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