March 18, 2024

Our first ever Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop!

On Sunday March 17, we hosted a Train the Trainer workshop led by Carol Ponchet. With 9 people attending, there were many perspectives and hands to help care for the trees. We learned how to assess the tree for branch training style (Open Vase makes for easy picking!), to look for and attend to dead or damaged wood, and then to examine for general health and treat specific conditions such as insects, disease, growth, and soil.

The trees in our outdoor classroom were perfect pruning candidates to allow for more air circulation and sunlight as they had not been pruned in a couple of years. There were four trees to work with – sour cherry, two plum, and an apple tree with five grafts on it. With a productive crabapple tree within sight, we also learned that the crabapple attracts pollinators who then will see the other tree blossoms and head over.

We also took a deep dive into how to select, use and care for pruning tools including disinfecting tools before moving from one tree to another. After two and half hours of intensive theory and hands-on learning, it was time for an Apres-workshop refreshment and our hosts brought out some fermented cherry juice and soda water to sample. Overall, a very successful first effort and we hope to do a follow up event in the next two weeks at the Wrinch Memorial Hospital Orchard. Watch for details and get in touch if you would like to be on our invite list.