What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, February 17, 2012

Apple Discord

(my apple pruning helper...)

Right now is THe time to prune your dormant fruit trees. Like say.....the very very VERY neglected apple trees that beg for mercy every time you step outside.

"Cut us down! Prune Us. ANYTHING. JUST STOP IGNORING US!" they cry.

I knew nothing about pruning other than now is the time to do it so I did what any person does last minute. I went to youtube. After a few youtube videos on the subject (thank you youtube) and a talk with my horticulturalist brother in law, I took things into my own hands.

(the before pictures of our trees)

One thing everyone says is to prune apple trees over a three year period so as not to distress the trees too much all at once. So I didn't do all the pruning I could, but my goal this year was to open up the trees for good air circulation and sunlight. (That too is really important.)

Well, I took things into my own hands.....until my hands (and arms) started to hurt really really bad, that is.... and I still had a monster of a branch to cut down. Then I took things into Matts hands-or rather, his chainsaws 'hands'. (Hey! I had a handsaw. HE had a CHAINSAW!) He helped me out. He is swell like that. But, he didn't exactly LIKE it. I could tell when I asked him to cut that he didn't think I was right.

The conversation went something like this:

me: "Mattie-the most important thing about apple trees is that they need good air circulation and sunshine-so the centers need to be open. So-can you cut down this branch here for me to expose the center please?

Mattie: "uhhhhhhh. You mean the TRUNK?"

me: "that isn't the trunk it is just the SIZE of the trunk. And it is in the center. And the guy on youtube says you need to be able to throw a hat through the center without touching any branches."

(For reasons unknown to me, he starts laughing here.....)

Mattie: "But didn't you say that you are supposed to only prune 1/3 of the tree each year over a three year period?"

me: "yes. it is only ONE cut."

Mattie: "But it is over half the tree!"

me: "JUST CUT IT!"

Mattie: "Okay-but when these trees die, it will be your fault."

me: "They aren't going to die. YOU didn't watch any pruning neglected fruit tree videos. DID YOU? You know NOTHING."

So when my apple trees (because when you go to the trouble of watching youtube for them and then kill your arm muscles pruning them, they become yours) are bearing lots of fruit and looking all gorgeous because they can bask in sunshine all day and breathe easy-I will have PROOF that I was right.

A sort of virtual I-told-you-so. Unless I fail. In which case, this post will mysteriously disappear....

All this fruit tree business has got me to thinking more about what fruit tree I would like to plant this year (one of my goals for the year.) With any luck, the apple trees will be producing again in no time so while I would like to plant some new apple trees at some point....I am thinking this year I ought to branch out (pardon the pun) and expand my varieties. I am thinking peach. Oh MY, how I love peaches.

That gets me to thinking about summer and the established grapevines at the old house that I had to leave behind...even some that were given to us from a friends own vines. :-( And that gets me to thinking about the huckleberry patch at my in-laws and maybe digging up a few transplants?

And before I know it, one thing leads to another and I have just made more work for myself....


Bonnie said...

Oh I'm ALL OVER fruit everywhere. We have nasty wild grapes, a nasty wild apple tree (tasteless and wormy. The fact that is out by the pond and breathlessly beautiful in spring are its saving grace. That and the fact that I am savagely opposed to trees being cut down for the heck of it. I'm not a greenie, just a Bonnie) and a crabapple, and wild killer black berries. And the blueberry bush I planted last year. If its not dead. Like its friend. Yep, thinking apples here (dwarf probably, I haven't been able to find anything negative about them), peach and maybe cherry. And grapevines, and blue berries and raspberries and strawberries, and yes I want them all now.
Your tree looks much happier already.

P.S. I think we also have elderberries out by the pond, but I need my MIL to look at them.

Anonymous said...

the picture of your cat is AWESOME.

b in va

Louise said...

So... (since you're the expert having researched and watched, while I am lazy)... if we butchered our trees last year, should we give 'em a break this year? If you saw our trees last spring, your one branch would look small compared to the pruning ours got... :-)

...they call me mommy... said...

Posted a photo of Phoebe in that darling hat...it's a bit skewed (too forward on her head) because she is a wiggle worm but still cute! She wore it to church on Sunday and was "ooo'd & aww'd" over. Thank you!

...they call me mommy... said...

Haha. I like Matt's chuckle at you about the youtube videos.

I am rooting (get the pun ;) ) for your apple tree!

Anonymous said...

ha ha... im sure it will survive!
and if you want a good peach tree... my sister got me a Reliance Peach tree for my birthday last year, its self pollinating so you can start with just one! : ) Nice huh?
that reminds me i need to order a cherry tree for closer to the house, i want a shade spot for the kiddos to play under!

as always LOVE the photos and LOVE the narrative! Marriage is so fun!

Mary said...

Love the eyes of your cat. Some of us who are too chicken (har har) to try the country life would love it if you had a little cottage to rent :)

Leah T. said...

Rebecca, you might enjoy watching this free video called Back to Eden, http://vimeo.com/28055108 . He even talks a bit about pruning trees. :)

abigail said...

I know this entire post is about pruning fruit trees, but I'm so taken with the top photo of your cat that I'll forgo fruit tree comments.

Stunning cat! Seriously. And I just don't throw the word "stunning" out to flea-bitten felines often, either.