Eddie is a pretty good neighbor as neighbors go, nice enough fellow and all. And then one day, just a few weeks after he moved in you hear a sickening sound, WHACK, WHACK, WHACK, with that particular tone of a living organism being savagely dismembered. And sure enough some ediot is whacking at tree branches with a hatchet. Now if my memory serves me the only time you need a hatchet is if you belong to the boy scouts where they are used to split open knees and cans of beans because the always prepared forgot a can opener. Hatchets are NEVER used on trees. Why do you think boy scouts wear shorts? You don’t want to ruin a good pair of pants every time you get out your hatchet. Trees are pruned using a pruning saw which is why they are called pruning saws. Pruning hatchets don’t exist, so get the right tool for the job. And right now is not the time to discuss proper pruning because you don’t have a saw yet. So why do people who obviously care about the proper care and feeding of their house, cars, and kids, act like complete ediots when it comes to the plants on their property? What excuse is there for flagrant tree abuse? You learn about these things the same why you learn about water heaters, fuel filters, and raising kids. You learn from someone who knows about more about these things than you do, or in the particular case of kids, you make a lot of mistakes, and yes, like your trees they end up scarred for life. But they get over it, or not. And now we get to the crux of the problem. People like Eddie don’t know how ignorant they are about this facet of their public face, and while he would be chagrined if people saw water leaking from his house, or car, or kid, because this would demonstrate his complete ineptitude for owning a house or car, or parenting a kid, it never occurs to such ediots that seeing whacked up branch stubs sticking out from scarred tree trunks leaves the more sophisticated among us tsking about this fellow’s obvious short-comings. Hmm, you have to pass a test and get a license before you can drive a car, and why buy one and keep it from leaking otherwise? What if you had to pass a test and get a license before purchasing a house, fathering a child, or planting a tree? Hey, if it’s just cutting grass, mow away Eddie. But put down the hatchet slowly and back away from the tree; leave pruning to people who have passed the test and know how to use a pruning saw.