Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pruning our fruit trees

I'm joining up (a little late) to this week's Homestead Barn Hop to share what I've been learning this week about pruning old unkept fruit trees!

Last year we meant to prune our fruit trees, really we did! But with a baby who was only a couple months old, and me still recovering all my core strength after an unanticipated C-Section birth, pruning just didn't happen.

Since then, I've done a lot of reading online, printed off a bunch of info brochures, and talked to people I know who have fruit trees.

Some things I have learned that I'm trying to follow:

 - prune branches that head into the center of the tree
 - prune new branches that head straight up
 - prune branches that you can't possibly pick fruit from even when standing on your tallest ladder
 - prune branches that are too crowded
 - prune branches that are overtaking the next tree over's space

I'm also trying to prune our pie cherry tree way back to reduce the amount of fruit this year, because I don't want to spray for the cherry fruit flies that it is infested with. Doing some research online I learned that the fly larvae can only survive 2 years in the soil, and the adults can't reproduce unless they have cherry fruit to lay their eggs in. Last summer I picked and froze all of the cherries to kill the wormy larvae, but there were a lot of cherries! I figure with less cherries, less will go to waste.

Here are some pictures of the start of my pruning handiwork. So far I've really only finished the cherry tree, and done some preliminary work on the apricot and the pear:
cherry is back left, pear front middle, apricot back middle

cherry tree is front center, apricot next back on the left, pear on the right

1 comment:

  1. just pruned my apple, pear & cherry trees last week. i did what i could on my own and then roped my boyfriend into tackling the rest for me (he is 6'4" so its a heck of alot easier for him!). i hope we both have a good harvest this year!


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