These days, we have been focusing on dormant pruning, taking advantage of every possible day the weather permits. Pruning is an important part of orchard maintenance to maintain the structure, health and productivity of the trees.
A labour of a thousand cuts
And then there's the clean-up...
That sprawling heap of branches is a by-product of our annual dormant pruning efforts! We pick up the cuttings under the trees as pruning progresses, pile them onto a wagon and haul them over to the brush pile.
In fact, the brush pile in this photo is showing only some of the cuttings from one year's pruning effort...the dark circle of ashes in front left was from approved open-air burnings we did on days that were windstill and damp. Of course, we notify the local fire department each time so they can authorize the burn! It;'s all about responsible farming stewardship.
The budding promise
And there they are! Still-dormant fruit buds waiting for the spring sun and warmth to coax them into developing lovely fragrant apple blossoms! With good weather, proper pollination and further protection from pests and disease, they will grow into beautiful apples.
There's lots more orchard work to come during the rest of the growing season till we get there...Be sure to come back and see us during the fall harvest to see how these little buds came along!
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