I went all over the mandarin tree to photograph the best and these were them. Don't look at the black hole in the middle, just pretend it isn't there because it wasn't. It's where the possum kama-kazied off the roof and landed smack in the middle of the tree and snapped off a loaded branch. So now they know the fruit is ripe and the war has begun. I walked out this morning and they have eaten the fruit and left the skins on the tree, swines.
I prunned this right down 12 months ago when the fruit didn't grow to more than grape size. It was overshadowed by a huge Blue Spruce so that was next to go. I think that's why the mandarin has come on so well, more water and sun. Notice my politically correct lawn, pine needles, grass tufts and dirt. It softens the landings when the possums fall out of the tree. When it rains on the blossoms, the smell of mandarins fill my bedroom.
Two years ago, I cut down the lemon tree to the second rail on the fence. I couldn't reach the ripe fruit at the top so I thought 'That'll learn ya!' but it loved it. In the grass at the bottom is a large cat and the fence is over 6 foot tall. It's a bit hard to see the lemons because the stupid things aren't ripe yet and I still haven't figured out how to get the top ones down.
I had never prunned anything until the Blight left and six years ago I did it a lot easier than these days. I just take my time, a few branches each day.
There are only two rules for cutting branches. Don't hang on to the branch you're cutting and don't stand under the branch you're cutting when hanging on to the branch next to it. In all cases this leads to stitches and a black eye.