Spring is slowly happening in north Idaho with the snow melting and some green returning to the landscape. We have flowers that are poking their heads through the snow in defiance of winter. The swallows have returned and robins are searching for the right spot to build a nest. Clients have started calling wanting their trees pruned soon . Fruit trees are pruned to remove unwanted sucker limbs and weak limbs that would rob the tree of nutrients to produce good fruit. It is amazing how a tree can produce an abundance of poor limbs in a season. If fruit trees aren't pruned yearly they quickly become a tangle of weak unproductive limbs.
A few years ago, a property management firm called and said a client of theirs had a rental where the fruit trees needed pruning so I drove there to look at the trees. Two large apple trees had not been pruned in at least ten years and there were weak limbs everywhere. It took me two days to prune the trees and I hauled off two big trailer loads of limbs. Later that summer we had a call from the management firm saying the owner was not happy with the pruning I did in the spring. I asked what was wrong and the reply shocked me. The owner thought the pruning would reduce the amount of apples the trees produced as she didn't want apples. Now she was very unhappy with an increase in the apples the trees were producing. I replied that if she didn't want fruit then the trees should have been cut down. Needles to say, she didn't like my advice.
Jesus said you can tell a tree by it's fruit. A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit. He was using trees to remind us how our life should produce good fruit in abundance. We produce good fruit when we help other people produce good fruit. It may take some pruning to get them to the potential they have to produce good fruit. We all need some pruning from self, pride, anger and many other sins. Pruning will make us stronger, more productive and give us Godly wisdom for discernment.
Don't go out and prune someone unless you have removed all the unwanted limbs slowing you down. When you do prune, do it with love and humility; be gentle.