On Thursday I worked for my mum. Every few weeks she has the children for a day and I attack her massive list of jobs. I know who is more tired at the end of the day though and it's not me!
She did dangle the proverbial "carrot on the end of the stick" for me though and said that once I got so many of the jobs done could I prune our orchard.
I've mentioned this orchard before, it's one I planted with her about 10 years ago on the farm, before I left home. Full of old varieties and some tried and tested favourites of apples, pears, plums quinces, damsons, gages & medlars. There must be about 40 trees in there now and I try to prune it every year if I get around to it.
|The "new" orchard on the farm. The old orchard is very old and used to park machinery now, so 10 years ago my mother and I decided to plant another one for the future.|
|This tree is starting to have the goblet shape that I want|
|Much larger prunings were required on some trees|
It's been interesting seeing the shapes of the tree forming and some I'm getting right whilst others need quite a bit more work to them. I won't go through the process here, as I know I'm a bit boring when it comes to pruning fruit trees, so I thought I'd just show a few pictures.
The photos below are a before and after of a tree I'm trying to bring back down. It still needs plenty taking off it but that's plenty for this year, with some big branches marked up for next year as well. Hopefully in about three years I should have the shape I want on this tree
|Before - far too much upright growth and lots of canker in the branches|
|After - reduced the height and removed one of the large limbs that was growing too vertical.|
Sorry if I keep boring everyone with fruit trees and pruning - I'm sure they'll be more posts about it yet though!