I started pruning my trees with little experience or knowledge. The main reason was that I was tired of ducking below the branches when I was walking in my yard. As I was pruning, I got into a conversation with my neighbor about his trees. I notice that his trees were noticeably larger. I was curious to hear what his secret was. He said the key was pruning. He prunes the correct branches to allow growth. So I asked what were the correct branches. He said keep the area around the trunk clean and the "V's" or area where a branch splits to two clean. He said to also thin out the crowd areas on the tree and cut off those branchs that have less growth and leave those branches that are more healthy. That was it. Through all of this, I was reminded of John 15 with the Father in the vineyard who "prunes" so that the branches "will be even more fruitful".
I thought what an interesting parallel about the growth of a Christian versus a tree (or plant). Pruning is a necessaring step in order to maximize growth. So I decided to learn a bit more about how to prune tree and focus on its parallel to the Father in Heaven pruning us or things in our life.
Here are a few notes on pruning a tree:
1. Remove dead branches. The Father prunes those things that have no life in it. Perhaps, sin areas in our life that suck essential nutrients away from those things that have life.
2. Remove crowded or rubbing limbs. Sometimes there are things in our life that are good and that help us grow, but these things take away from those areas that will bring more life. The Father helps prune these areas and allow for us to focus on the more essential things.
3. Eliminate hazards. The Father sometimes prunes areas in our life that tend to hurt or hinder the growth of others.
4. Remove branches to increase light and air penetration to the inside of the tree’s crown or to the landscape below. The Father prunes branches that may be good but do not allow enough penetration to our heart. Our lives tend to be too busy and we forget that we need light for our essential being.
I sometimes see that best practices in life tend to parallel with the spiritual. Jesus taught many parables in the Bible that related to the best agricultural practices in order for us to understand a glimpse of the spiritual.