Pruning the peach tree in my yard is always a traumatic experience. Unlike the oranges, avocados, and apples in my garden, peaches require substantial work. I have to remove as much as 60-70% of the tree each year. You see, peach trees will only grow fruit on second year growth: older branches will not produce new fruit. Or to put it another way: more branches does not result in more peaches. If anything, it will negatively harm your crop by stealing energy from fruit production, weighing down the tree, and overcrowding the new branches. To help bring it to its fullest potential, you have to be brutal in your pruning practice.
This labor of love came to mind as I was working on an external relations piece for the library the past week. I was ruthless with my editing shears. It doesn’t make the experience any less difficult– to see all those darling branches on the cutting room floor–but the final result is a much tighter narrative that will allow it to bear the ripest fruit.