Friday, December 5, 2014

training trees

the fruit trees i planted this summer are just starting to get some fall color and drop their leaves.  the pear trees are putting on a nice show right now and the persimmon and asian pear have dropped all of their leaves.  with the leaves gone it's much easier to get a look at the branch structure of the trees and get to work doing a little training to get them growing how i want them.  the apples, european pears, and figs will all be espaliered (i'll get to work on them once they drop their leaves).  the persimmon, asian pear, and all the stone fruits will be trained and pruned to be very compact, super dwarfy trees.  i hate ladders in the orchard and although it will take some extra time maintaining the trees, it will pay off in being able to easily protect them from birds and other critters and make harvesting faster and easier.  and anyway, i've always liked sculpting and working with living sculptures is about as much fun as it gets.

'seckel' pear showing off

i'm not doing any pruning yet.  i like to prune as the trees are coming out of dormancy since conditions are typically a bit drier then and the sap flow will help push out any disease organisms that may get into the cuts. so right now i'm just tying branches into new positions and marking the branches i will prune later.

'hosui' asian pear tied and marked

i worked on the asian pear and the persimmon this morning and i'll have a go at the other trees as they loose their leaves.