The Extreme Gardener

Experiments in permaculture and
other gardening adventures in northeastern Vermont

Pruning apple trees

April 29th, 2008

I never seem to accomplish all the pruning work I should on our fruit trees. Some of the older ones are dishearteningly out of control. I’m comfortable climbing trees and using the chain saw, but not at the same time. Call me a wimp, I don’t care.

Beacon apple tree

Anyway, last week I pretty much finished up pruning for this year. Pictured is one of my victims, a Beacon apple we planted about 20 years ago. 3 or 4 years ago it was severely damaged in a wind storm and split in half, so it has needed some TLC. It’s a robust grower and is recovering well. It bears lots of large apples which has been cause for concern because the storm damage left all the branches on one side, and the weight of the fruit pulls on an already leaning tree. This year it will be quite a bit better balanced.

Over the winter I discovered an inspiring and informative web site about pruning apple trees, which is connected to a really fun talk radio show. The website belongs to Padma, who is co-host of Sniggling Eels along with a market gardener named Alan LePage. The station is WGDR, a community radio station based in Plainfield, Vermont, and streaming on the web. The conversations are lively and intelligent, and range from practical homesteading and gardening (how to train a dog not to eat the chickens) to philosophy and politics (mostly left of center). The Sniggling Eels time slot is Friday, 8-10am (US eastern time) , though I believe they will be changing to Sunday mornings soon. Check it out!

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2 Responses to “Pruning apple trees”

  1. Mrs. Greenhands says:

    Hi! Thanks for visiting my gardening blog and giving me info on St. John’s Wort. I really appreciate the advice. I’ve blogrolled your site and will be checking back in. Again, thanks!

  2. the extreme gardener says:

    Sniggling Eels update – the Snigglers morphed into “The Curse of the Golden Turnips” and now occupy a different time slot Sunday mornings 5am to 9am eastern time (10am – 1pm GMT). Check it out – there are some amazing discussions about gardening in a cold climate, and more, and you can call in questions.

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