It’s Pruning Time!
Winter on the farm is far from uneventful. Trees may be dormant, but our teams are far from it. Preparation and work during winter sets the tone for the success of our summer stone fruit. As mentioned in weeks prior, laying compost and spraying compost tea is imperative to nourishing our trees with the nutrients they need to grow delicious fruit and to fight off pesky diseases such as brown rot. If you walk through the orchard this week, you will find our tree teams hard at work pruning our trees to insure that big, juicy peaches will find their way to your table soon.
Pruning is an vital process for our trees, so Farmer Al puts only his most experienced man — the tree team leader — in charge of the decision making. The team leader is the only one on the team who understands the tree to such depth that he can discern which branches to cut and which ones to leave to bear fruit. He brings along two men into the orchard with chain saws and leads them through the process of tactfully removing branches. It is a process that requires both brain and brawn and our tree team has them both!
The overall purpose of pruning is to make sure that all parts of the tree receive an equal amount of energy, so it is essential that the correct branches are cut. Think forward to the seasons to come — spring and summer. The buds on the trees right now will soon burst forth to produce beautiful, fragrant spring flowers that fill each branch of our stone fruit trees. Next, spring brings the growth of bright and vibrant leaves and the small, hard, beginnings of fruit. Finally, summer bears bright, juicy, ripe, and delicious fruit. Our teams are working to create a balanced tree insure all of these processes will be well balanced in all parts of the tree.
Energy comes from sunlight and it is very easy for sunlight to reach the top of the tree. We can assume that very good fruit will grow in the top 3 feet of any tree, but to truly maximize the production of our trees so they can produce exceptional fruit throughout, we must open up the tree so that lower branches can access more sunlight. We are working to manage the space of the entire tree when we prune. We are spacing out the fruit buds and the branches so that everything receives an equal amount of light, thus managing the energy of the tree. Sunlight not only manages the growth of the tree, but it also helps to pump minerals out of the soil. If our tree can access sun throughout, more minerals will be pumping through the entirety of our trees.
Pruning is imperative to our work at Frog Hollow Farm. We are hard at work to make sure that this summer is the sweetest one yet!
Sunday, March 12th 11am – 2pm
* Revel in the beauty of the orchard in full bloom *
* See inside a honeybee hive *
* Taste honey straight from the comb *
* Learn all about native pollinators *
RSVP today for this free event