This tree has annoyed me almost since the first day I planted it. Why? Because:
1) I wanted a plum tree that actually, well, produced plums. Go figure. The guy at the nursery swore up and down that it would, but has it? Nope. Nary a one in, what, six years? I guess it was merely an ornamental plum, which would be all right except for:
2) As an ornamental plum it hasn't been all that, well, ornamental. Both the flowers and leaves have been rather lame. If you aren't actually going to put ripe, juicy plums on my breakfast table, then skimpy blooms and scraggly purple-green leaves just doesn't cut it.
And now that winter has come and gone and things are leafing out, it seems that some of its major branches have gone and expired on me (see photo above, labels "A" and "B"). Plus! It has always had these annoying suckers that spring up from the root stock that I keep having to whack back (see label "C"). I hate that.
I decided on Monday that enough was enough. The tree wasn't pulling its weight and in my gardening book, that means you get sacked. A tree like this expects a little extra pampering, and I am simply not going to fall prey to that kind of wishy-washy, sentimental, unsustainable thinking. "No grit, no grow," I always say.
So I marched out there with a shovel, stuck it in the ground for the first good dig...and saw this:
Oh, fine. Get all lovely and elegant on me now.
So the tree got a last minute reprieve. I took the pruning saw and surgically removed the offending dead branches:
This is your last chance, Mr. Tree! Prove up or it's curtains next year! I mean it this time!