I grew up in an area where apple orchards abounded. In late winter, the pruning equipment came out and the trees received haircuts. Up to a third of the tree was cut, snipped, and shaped to make room for new growth and encourage the best crop of fruit possible.

How much was cut? There is a saying amongst horticulturists. “Cut enough of the tree branches so you can throw a cat through without him grabbing a limb.”

That’s a lot of cutting. However, if the cuts aren’t made, the tree produces too much fruit of lesser quality. Or simply breaks in the spring winds from the weight of excess fruit. The tree cannot make the best fruit with too many branches.

Do you cut branches in your own life?

Like branches, the commitments we say “yes” to add up.

“Yes, I’ll do that. Yes, I’ll serve on the committee. Yes, Yes, Yes.”

Like the tree is pruned, so must we trim our branches.

Enough for a cat, enough for breathing space, enough for our best to be developed.


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