Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Waitati Open Orchard

By Jacob Feenstra

 

15 people (booked out!) attended the pruning workshop in a sunny Saturday afternoon last month.

First we were introduced to the basics of pruning outlining to us Why, When and How to prune.

However, the very first thing you need to do is establish the health of the tree.

The following points are also important to note:

  • Establishing pruning is different if the tree is naturally grown (from seed) or grafted on root-stock like the fruit trees planted by the WOO on for example Brown St.
  • Identifying the different plant parts for instance where new growth has occurred on the old.
  • Imagining how you would like the shape of the tree to be in the future.

The talk was interspersed with frequently asked questions re people's new, older, very old apple/plum/pear trees.

The practical (and scary) part of the workshop then took place on Brown St where we pruned the fruit trees planted by the WOO 2-3 years ago.

It was fun especially when encouraging other people to do the cuts.

Last, but not least on the agenda, was the old apple tree grown haywire near the library, which got a decent pruning haircut as well. Such trees are a little bit harder to work on but in the end what really counts is how you would like it to look like and take it from there (or leave it).

Here Jason pointed out two diseases present on that tree: woolly aphid and scaly insect and gave some advice re treatment.

Tea and cake at Jason's place finished off this very useful and most enjoyable workshop.

Personally, I gained a lot of confidence re pruning. Or did I? It took

me another week before I made my first cut.

 



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