Mar/17/2011 03:26 PM Filed in: orchard
This week is our pruning week, when Jen has a week off from teaching and we can work together to trim the trees. We have been blessed with two beautiful sunny days so far (and one horrendous slush-fest during which we did indoor tasks), and have pruned a good portion of the orchard. Our work of shaping the trees in previous years is paying off this year, as pruning is far easier than it has been in the past. Part of that might be that we are more clear on what we are trying to accomplish, as well. Steve will need to go back through with a ladder for the tops of some trees when the snow finally melts, but we can get to a good portion of the semi-dwarfs.
This is also our chance to see how the orchard fared during this long, snowy winter. Snow increases the risk of vole damage to trees, since they can stay all cozy and safe under the snow and eat bark off the trees. Indeed, many of our full grown trees show some areas of vole damage, hopefully not enough to hurt most of them. But a few of our new trees were girdled, since the snow was well above the level of the wire cages we surrounded them with. Most of the new trees have avoided damage, though. No sign of damage from cold, ice or other weather, as is usual for apple trees.