Apricot Tree Pruning January 26, 2015
The sun is shining brightly through the blue sky. The green grass is growing everywhere. A few bulb flowers are shooting out their beautiful flowers. It feels like spring.
It is early morning. The sun has been up for only an hour, not long enough to evaporate the dew drops that settled on the cover crop mix of legumes and grasses growing between the Blenheim apricot orchard.
Walking through the grass, I feel my socks getting wet through my tennis shoes. Ricardo is properly equipped with rain boots, keeping his feet dry. He is in the middle of the orchard with a few people that he has hand selected. Pruning trees is something that not anyone can do. Ricardo is the guy who has done this the longest. Every winter after leaves have fallen, Ricardo prunes the trees in a manner to set them up for success the following season.
His pants are tucked into his rain boots. He has a sweater and a ball cap on. One of the folks helping him has an iPhone in his pocket playing music. They all have one set of pruning shears that enable them to reach eight feet into the tree. The trees that have not yet received their annual haircut have many branches and twigs. If you know what you are looking for, you can see the frame of the main branches selected from the years prior. In the space between the trees with the cover crop, lie the branches that have been cut from the tree. These trees now look neat and organized. They have four main branches that stretch for the sky. From these main branches only a select number of little spurs are left.
The main purpose of pruning is to reduce the number of flowers that will spring from the branches, which reduces the number of pieces of fruit to split the finite energy of the tree, which makes larger fruit. The other reason for pruning is to give each piece of fruit an equal chance to soak up sunshine and color evenly. Without an annual pruning the trees would be more like bushes, yielding thousands of tiny apricots that would be a nightmare to harvest and even more difficult to eat.
I am thankful for Ricardo, his experience and his competence. I posted a picture of the pruning on my Instagram page. Enjoy your boxes and find us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus).
P.S. Farm Land For Sale: I have a piece of land that we rent. The owner wants to sell the property and asked me if I knew anyone who would like to buy it. It is 91 acres in size, has two homes and a shop, we would be happy to rent it all if you want to buy it! If you would like more information, please email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org; he will follow up with you and pass you off to me if you remain interested.
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