Readers’ Corner 4/14/07 |

Readers’ Corner 4/14/07

More on the mean dogwood pruner: Cindy Gilmore has had contact in Nevada City. She says, “I wanted to add my experience to those mentioned. This same man (I presume – due to his attitude and nastiness) came around to my house year after year asking to take cuttings off my dogwood tree. I finally relented about four years ago, as he said he would ‘prune’ my tree and it would be ‘good for it.’ I said I wanted to be present when he was cutting, which he agreed to. The next morning he arrived very early and started cutting whatever branches he wanted before I had a chance to get dressed. I suppose I assumed he would knock on the door to let me know he was there. When I went out to supervise the ‘pruning’ and asked him to take branches from another part of the tree, he said ‘I don’t need to take this s—‘ and left in a huff with the branches he had already cut. He had told me prior to this that he does indeed sell the branches to florists.”

Then, I heard this from Sarah Hendrickson. “The dogwood pruner has been around for years … and he’s not just limited to dogwoods. … He once told my neighbor that he’d prune her snowball bush because it was so overgrown. … She refused and he got nasty. Another year, he came on to another neighbor’s property while it was for sale and cut enormous branches from a dogwood tree and I called the police, but nothing was done. Later, I saw him downtown doing more of the same. His van is full of five-gallon buckets. He defends himself by either saying he had permission from the owners (which was hard to prove in my neighbor’s case, because they were moving) or he says that the trees will be healthier. He’s scary!”

And another twist on dogwoods: Rich Scofield, who works at The Union, said someone (not this man) pays his mother $140 and two dozen roses to prune their dogwood tree in Grass Valley.

Grass Valley Taiko: Jeannie Wong Wood told me the drumming group has been invited by Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo to perform at the 40th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown at noon Saturday at the Peace Plaza on Post and Buchanan streets. “This is indeed a great honor,” says Sensei Mitzi Garnett of Grass Valley Taiko. “We have been putting in extra practices to prepare for our debut in San Francisco. The fact that Sensei Tanaka has invited us – as he does only one group a year – is truly amazing! … In the past, most groups have been from Japan. This is truly a depiction of our great fortune, dedication and hard work!” Visit for more information on the Cherry Blossom Festival, Grass Valley Taiko and enrollment in ongoing taiko drumming classes and cultural activities. Sensei Garnett may be reached at


Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at dixier@theunion .com, or by fax at 477-4292.

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