I have written previously on this topic of restoration pruning and the value of restoring the older landscapes, gardens and trees. around us. I don’t know if all who pass by my writing get the underlying meaning. I will attempt throughout this paper, to demonstrate as clear as possible, the benefits of fixing what is broken (as long as not beyond repair).
Anything that was planted in the past was planted with a purpose. What was that intention? Do the same needs apply for you, today? What are the value points in fixing this plant material verses removing it and starting anew. These questions need to be answered before you take the next step forward. I have considered all the options in terms of giving everyone a general roadmap through this maze but that has been done by others and has demonstrated failure and frustration. There is generally no one way to define this for everyone without asking individual questions. SO, I will begin again by telling everyone who is reading this article that you need to ask questions. If you choose to take the shortcut as I and so many others have done before you, I can promise you regrets will follow.
OK. You have defined the area you want to change, you have asked the questions that need to be addressed and lets just say you have found someone to help you in the process (some homeowners will try managing the work by them self, more power to them). We now have two general directions. The first is rip out and start from scratch. The second option would be to fix (restoration) the mis-manged plant or garden, and redesign in the process. No mater what anyone chooses to do, everyone must consider the environmental impact of all these actions. The place I would like to begin is the soil.
The physical light changes to the surface of the ground will change, effecting moisture, insect population and animal traffic. I will address each of these topics in a moment. I must include root systems, that will have to acclimate to the new size of the plant (s) and gardens above. When removing an existing tree or garden there is an entire world of microbes being disturbed and destroyed. Many times people don’t consider these consequences and when planting back into this environment new plantings need to be heavily compensated with both water and nutrients (the surrounding soil environment needs to find a new balance and order to sustain life again). When restoring an old tree or garden you are possibly drying out soils that have been shaded for a long time, and in doing so will sacrifice beneficial insects that had established them-self in that area to help the plants sustain themselves. I have considered including research that documents some of this information but have found it to be boring. I encourage all those who want to know more to research it further. Everyone will find out what I have learned after all these years. What makes things grow or die depends on due diligence (common sense with science).
, as I have discussed in so many previous articles must be respected. Time for environments to adapt. Time for insects, fungi and animals to establish themselves in the new gardens. Time for root systems to die back and re-establish. With out a certain amount of patience, the material expected to establish, will become a disappointment. When the time comes to restore and replant, don’t forget afterwards to pour yourself a glass of wine. We can share a beer with a friend, sit back and enjoy those nice days of spring, summer and fall, so many of us are missing right now this February.