Today was a beautiful day. Spring must be around the corner!
I pruned my dad’s two apple trees and one young cherry tree. Pruning is important and encourages accelerated maturity, fruiting and root growth.
What do I cut off:
- Any branches that are crossing each other,
- branches growing toward the center of the tree
- Water shoot branches–branches that are growing straight up off a main branch
- I cut center branches to open up the middle.
These techniques will allow air and sunlight in to the middle, which will help to prevent disease, and open up the branches for birds to find bugs.
Some rules of thumb:
- I start from the inside of the tree, and cut off middle branches.
- don’t be afraid to cut off too much, you will only encourage the tree to grow branches faster and fruit.
Another huge tip is to cover the tree’s drip line with grass cuttings, wood chips, and mulch. This protects the soil structure, encourages microbiology to flourish, and holds water and extra nutrients near the roots.
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