Wednesday, March 2, 2011


For those of you who think
I am totally mad.
my unwillingness to cut flowers

                                                                                                                         from here

began with a tree, twice the size of this
and a chain like this
hanging from the branches

and a gentle old lady

The tree was an almond tree and it was covered in fruit.
The wonderfully gentle elderly woman reached up
and picked a handful of the dried fruit and
showed me how to discover the nut inside.

Twice, I hit my head on the chains that were hanging
from one of the branches

(rather nasty, rusty old chain with three heavy strands
attached to a ring large enough to put your hand into)

Being the curious type I asked why it was hanging there

"Oh, dear, that's the tree beater"
"The what?"
"The tree beater,
 when we first came here, 50 years ago,
 the tree didn't bear fruit
so after a few years 
my Jack put this chain together for me and each year
I beat the tree, every day for a week, around the trunk,
and it has never failed to produce a crop like this."

Well I did have to ask why,  didn't I?!

The answer was that apparently almond trees
bear more fruit if they are stressed
and beating the trunk with a heavy chain rope
stresses the tree
Now the problem is that I have never forgotten that
and I figure if someone beat me with a chain
I would be stressed to
it would hurt!!!!!!

the question is
do you think it is possible that plant life might feel pain?

Just in case the answer is yes I no longer 
go on the attack with the secateurs!!!!!

What do you think?



  1. Yes, I think that plants can be stressed - absolutely.

  2. Well I agree since you put it that way. I hate to think of anything or anyone being beaten too... x

  3. hello julienne

    i do not how it happened but i lost track of you, and then i saw your pretty face posting a comment and thought, i must visit her again and get her on my blogroll. hit a button and re-building (deleted all)

    enough babble; i am here in england trying my hand at writing a book. today i am doing a chapter on a tour group i brought to england once.

    one day they were admiring apple trees and said "why don't they bloom every year?"
    they looked at me in horror when i told them 'they are too happy, beat them with a garden hose, especially very early spring up until you begin to see a fruit set" ....silence.....when stressed (beating) they produce a heavy fruit set; sort of seed setting for subsequent generations. but, do so at night i told them, "why?' because your neighbors will think you are nuts.
    the truth is, it is all correct, i learned this in horticulture school. and if it eases your discomfort; trimming your plants, is best for their health and extends their life. think of it as when we get our hair cut; no pain.
    amazing i saw this topic today!

  4. Wow, what a story. Fascinating! Dont think Id like to be beaten to produce fruit! Have a lovely weekend. Emma

  5. what if they do????
    then what do we eat?

    love you xxx

  6. pondering about the truth in it (stressing the tree)


I get such a kick out of your comments so please leave one. Its like finding that extra present under the Christmas tree!


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