Trimming Trees

The trees that have provided such great shade for the lawn and our house became a problem with limbs hanging on the roof of the house and the garage, We called a tree trimmer friend who gave our trees a Marine cut. We can now see the street. I watched him study the trees before and during the trimming. Before each cut, he examined how each branch intertwined and interacted. Fascinating. A true craftsman.

Two of our trees belong to the city. One was threatening a porch roof and the other is just plain ugly. The ugly one, I was told, has a couple more years of life. It is a river birch and is not pretty. Trimming made it look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Pathetic! It was battered by an ice storm 7 years ago and we thought it would not survive. I have enjoyed watching it regain strength and stature, if not beauty. I think that tree wanted to build an arch over the street like they have in Louisiana.

The forester wanted me to learn about trees, so he pointed out that the tree on the front parking needs pruning each year. The branches were cross-wise and woven together. He said, “You see those two small branches close together? They will never grow healthy because they have no room to grow. That tree needs to be kept thinned in the middle to give the tree growing room.

I noticed most of the interior branches were stunted or dead. I’m not inviting you to come visit our forest—not very pretty, but it will be. Nottingham.

I watched a conversation between Michael Hyatt and Jon Acuff after watching the tree trimming. The forester’s words about giving limbs room to grow really impacted me. Acuff’s words talked about the business and personal applications of pruning and growth.

I’m reading a book about the power of habit. It describes how Tony Dungy turned losing NFL teams into winners, and how AA works and what makes products sell. There is a chapter about the making of Michael Phelps into an Olympic winner.

I ran across a paragraph and one line the other day that were so rich. The chapter is about how tough it is at West Point and how one man succeeded:

“I found this group of guys…we started this thing where every morning, we get together to make sure everyone is feeling strong.”

Giving the tree room to grow. Small groups, mentors, friends who question you and hug you. Tribe building.

Interaction—the New Testament calls it koinonia—street-level fellowship. Wow, what an asset.

©2014 D. Dean Benton,

The Benton Quest House—Building the I’m Possible Life

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