Ramble On

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pruning the Old Apple Tree

We’ve been talking about getting the old apple tree pruned for years now.  I’ve written about our plans to do just that quite a few times – check the link at the end of this post and you can see that I’ve been writing about it since 2008!

The winter this year, with at least four decent snow falls, took a toll on the pines around the Hawksbill Cabin yard.  We figured that as long as we were having so much tree work done – we took down about five mature pines, a couple of dead trees in the side yard, and one dead dogwood – we would have the tree guys prune back the apple tree.  And instead of a careful prune of just a third of the tree, we pruned hard, since I am sure that tree hadn’t been attended to in close to 40 or 50 years.

Our timing was good, as friends had told me that March is the time to prune your apples.  Another bit of advice I got was that apple trees aren’t supposed to be pretty – they’re supposed to grow fruit, and you get that by pruning.

Last week I saw a few blossoms, not nearly as many as in years past, but we know we haven’t killed it, and it is leafed out nicely.  Next year we’ll pick some of the small branches to keep and prune off the rest of them, and hopefully we’ll be back to full crops again in a few years.

In the meantime, I collected a bunch of the old branches and had them sawn into firewood length.  The wood is curing out on the brick terrace.  We’ll look forward to some fragrant camp fires out on the brick terrace next fall.

Incidentally, a quick look at those old posts reminded me that we seemed to have good harvests in even-numbered years.  I am sure that is just a coincidence, but who is to say.  In any case – here’s the link to the old posts about the apple tree:


Rache said...

I just hiked a short part of the AT that went through an old old apple orchard - - many of the old gnarled trees are blooming, something I hope to do when I too am old and gnarled.

Jim said...

I've been to a few spots like that on the AT - where was this one? There is a nice pasture in the South District at Calf Mountain that I love to visit in apple season.