The art of pruning is basically manipulating the urges and desires of a plant for our own ends and fortunately most trees are a bit dimmer than most people so this tends to work well. Nature, however, is much more persistent than people so will always win in the end. I am talking about this because I have just spent a few days in Paris and, in the short intervals between meals, we did a lot of wandering around. One of our wanders took us to the rather charming gardens of the Hotel de Coulanges in the Marais. As I am sure you are aware Hotels are not necessarily hotels in Paris (this is another example, if more examples were needed, of the generally endearing contrariness of the French). The origin of the word in this context is as a rather grand townhouse, detached from its neighbours and built around a garden. There is an English equivalent which is the word inn: before there were public inns and jovial innkeepers a gentleman’s residence in town was known as an inn. Perhaps, when it comes to contrariness in language, we are on the same level with our Gallic chums. The point is, however, that these little glimpses of secret courtyards and grand parterres that you get while wandering round Paris make the whole experience even more interesting.
Sorry, I am being distracted by Anglo-French indiosyncracies when I should be concentrating on the pruning of fruit. In particular the double U cordons that had recently been planted in the gardens of said Hotel Coulanges. This particular shape of tree is, I have always considered, one of the more advanced forms. It is elegant and efficient.
Which is a state to which we should all aspire.