The whole purpose of planting a tree is to have it grow big and beautiful. However, before the Spring arrives, we prune back branches leaving exposed wood where a branch used to grow. Usually we do this type of pruning for aesthetics to enhance the natural form or to stimulate flowering and fruit growth.

Pruning exposes the tree within.

The health of the tree is also a reason for pruning. Getting rid of damaged or diseased wood can save the life of the tree. Sometimes the branches have been growing for years and once removed, there is a large area exposed which shows the lines of seasonal growth inside the tree.

Pruning shows the circles of life.

Pruning is a tough job and if the saw slips, it can cause a jagged edge or extra chunk of wood to be removed.


In time, however, the wood heals leaving behind gnarly scars. These areas never look the same after they have grown over. Each is distinct with intricate bark patterns even if there are several on the same tree.

Gnarly knots

Besides pruning, there are other natural elements such as birds and weather that cause the tree to become scarred. The regrowth and healing is sometimes quick and sometimes it takes quite a long time to recover from the removal of the limbs. However, pruning is necessary.

Other scars on the tree

These knots of scarred wood add character and is the exact kind of lumber I look for when building furniture or doing projects. I like how the scars and knots play with my imagination. I also think that the knobby wood adds to the beauty of whatever I’ve created.

We are like the tree.

The storms of pain and hard experiences thrash us about leaving behind scars, knobs and knots. With the right attitude, a lesson can be learned from the trials. That knowledge makes us more beautiful and prunes our souls towards becoming a wise, compassionate and selfless person.

Pruning is painful and often very harsh.

Even if the knots left behind after the healing are large, they are marks that prove you have lived…

Loved with every fiber of your body.

Given until the last drop of energy.

Comforted another when your soul cried with exhaustion.

Completely and totally lived.

That makes all the knots worth it.

Knots proved we have lived.

Can you relate with the gnarly tree?

Do you have any knots?

What has life pruning taught you?

The Redhead Riter

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lady Old Soul March 30, 2011 at 4:36 am

This is a beautiful sentiment, and I'm off to share it with my Facebook crowd!! ?


2 Angela March 30, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I love this! Such a great lesson here. I have a great appreciation for the beauty of wood. In terms of wood figures, my favorite is burl. I believe that source trees are afflicted with out of control cell growth (tree cancer??. A living thing that is riddled with abnormalities, manages to live through it and also bring beauty to the world. Reminds me of many beloved people in my life.


3 Home In The Hollow March 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Red, waht a unique topic to post about! Loved it! I need to pick your brain…what were the characters for the copyright symbol? Using my laptop here in Aruba & cannot remember…:)JP……many thanks!


4 Bossy Betty March 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Great analogy! So true! Lots of knots here and proud of them all!


5 Lori March 30, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I agree, knots do add character. It was such a shame several years back when our tress were starting to come back to life in the Spring and then we had a teribble harsh snow in April. We lost so many of our beautiful trees. I enjoyed your post!


6 Making Sense of It All - Day by Day March 31, 2011 at 12:35 am

Sherry, What a great piece. I loved the nature information, the pictures and the metaphore. You expressed it soooo beautifully and it made me feel better, actually proud of my knots.
You go girl – you're on a roll. Love ya, Joyce


7 ruthhill74 April 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for posting this. If I had not gone through a divorce, a difficult move, a job loss, and much more, I know I wouldn't be the woman I am. While I know I will continue to go through things, in every instance God is trying to teach me some valuable lessons, and it is molding me more into the woman He created me to be. It's not always easy, but it is necessary.


8 L.A.C.E. April 6, 2011 at 3:43 am

I loved this and shared it with my FB friends 😀


9 Kim April 13, 2011 at 12:10 am

Love. I had never thought of it that way before. Thanks for the follow, by the way.


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