|Manzanita in foreground|
Several trees overshadow one half of our back yard and make it feel forest-y. Only two of the trees are actually on our property, and the taller is a pine tree we are ashamed to say we haven’t identified. I spend a lot of time picking up its needles that fall all year, blowing and drifting over sweet woodruff, rhododendron, rosemary, campanula ground cover, and on to my dear manzanita.
When I was stretching my back to this task yesterday it turned into a general tidying-up of the “woods.” I pruned the manzanita some more, trying to maintain head clearance above the path it wants to span. We’ve already widened the path as much as possible to accommodate our favorite little tree.
My other goal in trimming it is to keep the natural curves of the shrub, so I try to envision the direction of future growth. Ideally it wouldn’t need pruning at all, but when we planted it we didn’t anticipate its leaning so sharply northward. I removed dead twigs and every needle I could see.