The brutal merciless pruner wanders the earth, pruning wherever he may go. Occasionally, you can hear him off in the distance singing that old Dylan song, “Everybody Must Get Pruned”. He laughs at the stanza that goes:
They prune you when your trying to be so lush,
They prune you if you’re just a little bush,
They prune you when you’re trying to grow your bud,
They prune you when you’re growing in the mud,
Oh, everybody must get pruned.
But really folks, since this is pseudo news, I’m going to tell you about those people who roam the highways with their big mowers tilted vertically, whacking the overgrowth away, tearing the limbs from innocent trees whose only crime was to grow too close to the street; those people who tear the tree limbs to shreds and leave the poor trees in dire need of medical attention; those people. I am going to tell you about them.
They are your neighbors. They have wives and families and little kids that run around in the woods pulling the wings off grasshoppers, and grandmothers in nursing homes, and historical relatives from the civil war, and brothers in jail for non-violent crimes. They have anecdotes and stories that would keep you enthralled around the campfire long into the night. They are not miscreants, just poorly informed individuals. And maybe their bosses are tyrants that have quotas and insist they brutalize a certain amount of highway roadside every hour.
What can you do? If you see a troupe of these sadly misdirected creatures, slow down and ask them if you aren’t probably related somehow. And suggest that they sharpen their blades. At least, then, they wouldn’t be ripping the poor limbs from the tree, but cutting them off more cleanly. And perhaps, even, although this is a long shot, perhaps they could have a guy who comes along behind with a chainsaw on a pole. He could wear an armband with a red cross on it and be a true tree hero. Motorists would honk and their passengers applaud as he trims the branches, caring for the life of the tree, making the roadside not to look like an agricultural war zone for the next six months.
For all of nature, your favorite farm reporter, Larry Berger, Sinks Grove Correspondent.