I enjoy it.  Well, most of the time.  I enjoy the challenge of making the decision, that slow guessing game of what a cut here and now will do ten years from now.  Some trees a pretty forgiving, apples for example, either because they grow fast or because they have plenty of dormant buds.  Others are a challenge.  Maples, for example, slow growing and unwilling to change direction.  The saying measure twice, cut once?  More like, look four times, check again, then cut.  You can’t glue it back on.  And while trees grow, an unwanted hole is still an unwanted hole. 

The goal, in my view, is to end with a pruned tree that doesn’t look pruned.  I think we did pretty well on the red maple next to the drive.  It had to have a major branch taken off, being much too low and heading across the drive.  And, of course, some other judicious pruning for balance.  Just about every other year we have been limbing it up.  Eventually it will have to branch off at about 25 feet to clear the house and drive as a fully mature tree.  It is always better to cut the branches when they are smaller.  In this case, the limb ought to have come off last year, honestly.  You can see the scar, a four inch wide mark on the trunk, but that will heal within a year or two.  What you don’t see is a hole or an unbalanced tree.  Just a young red maple growing upwards with a nice open set of limbs.  And the drive isn’t closed in either….much to the relief of the trucks I am sure!