Sunday, January 10, 2010


Today we took advantage of the relatively warm and dry afternoon and did a wee bit o' pruning! We're no pruning experts but every spring we make an attempt to prune our 5 apple trees, 4 Cherries, 2 plums, as well as the other general spring cleanup required by the herbs and flowers. It is a lot of work!

As a teenager I asked my Dad why he spent so much time pruning them every spring. Wouldn't it be better to leave them au naturale? Apparently not! He explained fruit trees are dependent on humans and need pruning or they'll just grow themselves to death! Or something like that? (Hey, I wasn't the greatest listener at that age!) Pruning is also good because it helps you and the sun to be able to reach the fruit.

Hacker's toolkit! Dexter eat your heart out.

Today we pruned one of the two Gravenstein trees on the property. Gravensteins are delicious apples that make amazing pies! If you are looking for a good heirloom apple, they may be for you! This tree had huge water sprouts (good pruning guide) and needed shape improvement so we did a heavy pruning on it. At our house, a light pruning involves taking off the water sprouts and cleaning off dead branches. Heavy pruning more seriously altering the shape. A heavy pruning sometimes leaves you wondering if you went too far but then the leaves come out and the blossoms burst open and all is right with the world again. While we were at it we trimmed the crazy lilac (behind apple on right) behind it and the removed blown over blue spruce(? behind apple on left) that was growing up in its business.
Gravenstein Before

After - hey air and sunshine!

Afterwards it was amazing how much more light was in the yard (from the removed spruce). The greenhouse (out of view, stage right) will benefit from the additional lighting as well, I suspect.

And as if rewarding us for all the hard work, Mother Nature outdid Santa Claus and left us a little present under the apple tree. A little clump of snowdrops just breaking through the soil! Oh green, we've missed you!

Sweet Dreams,



  1. I love the little snowdrops taking a lil' peek out from the soil! The crocus is taking a wee peekaboo in our front yard and probably in other spots in the back. I know they're supposed to, since it's their time of year, but it still feels like a nice early preview of spring greenery!

  2. oh, how jealous i am! here in ohio we don't see these signs of spring for another month or more. *sigh* i will live vicariously through your wee sprouts!