|Time to get prepped up for surgery|
After the surgery, she said that the rotatory cuff tendons had finally healed, but there was a great deal of debris and concretions (looked like stalagmites in the pictures) that had been rubbing on the tendons and keeping them inflamed. I was in an immobilizer for two weeks and boy did I get stiff and sore.
Now, after weeks of painful post-surgery physical therapy, I'm cleared for light-duty work. I've been gradually getting my range of motion back and a little of my strength. I've been doing more and more of housework, watering plants and such, each day a little easier and a little less painful than the past. I feel it's time to take care of some slightly more strenuous issues in our landscape.
We've had a lot of rain - for Las Vegas anyway: 1.03 inches so far this April and a great deal of wind along with it. The oleanders along our North fence provided some wind protection for the house, but took a little bit of a beating themselves. Branches that had once reached for the sky were now bowing to the mulch below. Some were either broken or cracked and near to breaking.
Time for us to conduct a little surgery of our own.
|Our instruments of choice for this surgery, recently sharpened too.|
|Many of these branches touching the ground are bowed down from quite a ways up the trunks.|
|This is a nice floral display from the street, but it's hiding big problems.|
This bark damage could let insects get into the plant and do more damage than it can handle, so many of those branches rubbing on the wall are going to have to be shortened back past the damaged parts.
|View from the neighbor's side of our North wall of the branches laying over and rubbing on it.|
|Pressing branches threatening to damage porch supports|
In this example, the branches are pressing against the back of this porch roof support, threatening to bend it eventually. We don't want to wait for that to happen to take action. So we'll selectively head the branches back without losing too much of them, thus reducing the pressure.
|Examine, decide, check then cut as little as possible, properly placing the pruner each time - that's selective pruning.|
In the above picture, we're cutting a branch off at the first crotch (where a 'daughter' branch is growing out from the 'mother' branch) back from the tip of the branch. We're cutting just in front of the crotch at an angle and putting the anvil of the pruner towards the 'daughter' branch so that the sharp pruning blade doesn't accidentally slice into it. We're getting as close to the crotch as we can to hide the cut to reduce the amount of dead material that will have to be scabbed over as the branch heals.
|A properly pruned branch.|
|Another example of a good prune cut.|
|Now, the porch support is unencumbered by branches, yet the porch is still nicely shaded.|
|This wall now has less pressure on it and the meter is readable again.|
|Pruning has taken the bending out of this fence. The fence would have broken long ago without us heading back the branches when needed.|
|Time for clean-up|
We also decided that the branches we'd cut off weren't infected with anything yet upon examination, so we used them for mulch under the shrubs. They'll keep the crushed rock covered soil cooler this summer. Since we didn't get carried away with our lumber-jacking and cut off as little as possible, we were able to neatly tuck all of the branches under the drip-line of the shrubs and out of the way.
|Why throw small branches away when they can be free mulch?|