Monday, January 21, 2013

Apple Pruning Has Begun

   We started the annual winter pruning of apple trees this past Sat. afternoon, when the weather was warm.  This is a big job that will continue for the next couple months.  Then we'll move on to pruning pear trees, then the peach orchard.
   First Bill uses the chain saw to cut off any big limbs that are broken, too low to the ground, too high in the tree, or competing with other limbs.  Then we prune back overly long limbs and side branches so the fruit won't touch the ground, and prune out or prune back one-year-old branches that are growing straight up.  On apple trees, these one-year-old branches are vegetative: they don't have fruit buds yet, as fruit buds are mostly born on spurs arising from older branches.
Bill (in back) uses the chain saw to cut off  big limbs, while our workers Brandon Ledford and Daniel Rennie cut back long one-year-old branches with pneumatic pruning loppers powered by an air compressor on the tractor. 
   We just invested in a couple of pneumatic pruning loppers to speed the process of cutting back so many one-year-old branches.  Our workers Brandon Ledford and Daniel Rennie got to try out these pruners this past Sat.  They allow us to avoid dragging ladders around to prune the trees.
This older tree has many long one-year-old branches that need pruning.
   We still have many 'Enterprise' & 'GoldRush' apples for sale, protected from freezes and kept in top condition in our sales building.  If you want to buy some, call 620-597-2450 and leave a message on the phone answering machine saying when you'll be coming.  Thanks.