Tuesday, 30 October 2012

the secret of youth

Left my foraging ways behind in favour of urban forestry last weekend as I collected lime wood for making what I’m hoping will be a series of kinetic sculptures.  It will involve balancing wooden spirals (larger scale versions of the one pictured below) on an axis and have the wind spin them. More on this on a future post on this blog, meanwhile back to pruning, or rather pollarding…  

My good friend Marcelo, who I’ve worked with on the Weaving Time Machine sculptures helped me collect the wood that Jack (pictured up the tree) felled with his handy chain saw.  It was impressive to see him hoist himself up, make a few expert cuts, and see all these branches fall down all around us before hopping to the next tree.  We were kept really busy at ground level sawing, pruning and stacking the wood to make room for more branches to come down.  So much destruction, such a thrill… Spooky!

Pollarding makes trees live longer apparently and encourages new growth as their tops are not subjected to so much windage and weight.  Trees are effectively kept in a juvenile state. Fabiane, whose garden the limes we were in was complaining about the secretions from the trees spoiling the laundry she leave out to dry.  It sounds like in a couple of years' time the leafy teenagers will be giving her yet more trouble!  Still, on the upside, there will be plenty more lime tree blossoms to collect to make soothing infusions (linden tea), and sipping these rejuvenating brews, the sticky laundry won’t seem such a problem anymore I’m sure.

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