17 March 2008

On Pruning



Everywhere there are subtle hints spring. The birds are filling the trees, the squirrels are making a mess of the lawn, and the chickens are laying eggs every day. Another sign of spring is some bushes and trees are starting to bud. The sap is rising.

Our adopted apple tree needed to be pruned badly. A while ago we posted about our lack of knowledge on pruning, and we received some very helpful advice. I think we leaned towards what El had suggested and went with our gut.

We knew that the spikes in the middle were sucking all the life from the other branches and if the spikes bore enough fruit they'd be liable to snap. So on the large scale we took out three hefty branches from the middle of the tree. On the finer side of the operation we cut some of the smaller branches that were rubbing against one another.

There's still one questionable big branch to take care of. It's the one that kind of swoops from right to left. We decided it would be best to save that one for next year and not risk shocking the tree any further. Standing back, it certainly looks more like how a fruit tree should.

5 comments:

Life at Dogfight Cove said...

Lord, I love to prune. Prune the hell out of it, my friend, it will love it. On bamboo- it is so beautiful. Nothing compares to walking thru a bamboo forest- heart stopping really. but... it is so invasive and hard to control. maybe it is easier in PA but be careful. I've been having a great time exchanging ideas with you guys!

Katie said...

Amazing what a little tree pruning can do for a formerly ugly fruit tree! :0) Congrats on pushing through it.

El said...

You know, I never got out to prune the rest of my grapevines. Hmm. Maybe this weekend. I am glad you went with your gut, though!

Ali said...

Hey, while working on my seed order over lunch, I noticed this page on renovating old apple trees at FEDCO, my #1 nursery & garden supplies source.

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/renovating.htm

It is also available as a PDF file.

Ali

Kelly said...

Polar Bear and the Dodger,
This is our first real go at pruning so we are a bit hesitant.
The bamboo was planted on this property by our landlord years ago. You're right that it is very invasive, but I've read that there some varieties that aren't as bad. When Meg and I buy our own land we intend to investigate the habits of all different kinds to see what will work best.
Likewise on the exchange. Cheers

Katie,
Thanks. We're anxious to see how it responds.

El,
It's been a while since my gut has steered me wrong. My main problem is sometimes when it's talking, I forget to listen.

Ali,
Thanks for the link, we'll be sure to check it out. By the way, we love your new boots.