We have never pruned our trees. Never. Ever. I've even been known to chase city workers away from the parkway trying to hack down limbs of the crabapples. Trees in the forest thrive all on their own and so should ours... until we came back from vacation and discovered our trees have grown so much this year that they're now shading out our entire garden. Moving the garden isn't an option on our small city lot, so we had a family meeting and voted on whether or not the time and energy spent growing the plants from seeds was more important than cutting back two large limbs.
Jake was the only family member who voted against the tree cutting, but came up with a great idea to honor the tree. He used the branches to make tripods for the beans and is going to try making tomato cages, too.
Jake also stripped the bark from all the branches and used the long fibers to make string to hold the tripods together. He was thrilled that we were able to use every part of the tree and has big plans for the rest of the bark!
The garden gets full sun all day long now, and I can't wait to see what grows up next to that big old tree!