It's almost July and it's a dry day--a perfect time to prune woody plants like our little dogwoods.
I went at them today, a little more conservatively than I would have if they had not been stressed. In other words, there are a few crossing branches and shoots from the base of the tree that I would have removed if I didn't want to preserve every leaf to do their important job of photosynthesis. I only removed dead or damaged wood, and opened up the center a little bit. I also found some long-dead ivy tendrils that were still strangling some of the upper branches, and removed all of those.
You can see from the bucket in the snapshot; 'Milky Way' is a twiggy bugger, so it took quite a while to work my way through those tiny twigs. (In Girl Scout parlance, it's all tinder, and no kindling or fuel.) Normally, I find pruning to be a very soothing experience--a perfectly literal decision tree from start to finish. I was feeling very Zen for the first couple of hours, and then I came to two conclusions: 1. My pruner is garbage, and I need a new one today. 2. I should have eaten breakfast before I started this project.