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Beware the Ides of March!!....

Posted 3/17/2008 12:19am by Betsy Austin.
Especially if you were an unsuspecting fruit tree yesterday!!!  The snow had pretty much melted again {we got about 6 more inches with that last storm}, the mud had dried some… so we were able to get out at long last and prune some of our fruit trees. {as I write this entry it is snowing once again}

 The day dawned bright and cold…. Thankfully, we were not planning to start until mid morning!!  By 10:00, though it was starting to warm up and the “pruning crew” was drifting in; Della and I, Robyn and Sarah {our wonderful interns}, Breigh and Darren {from Buckhorn Gardens just down the road}, and Wayne, Peggy, and Whiskey {from White Buffalo Farm in Paonia, who graciously agreed to come down and show us the ins and outs of pruning}. We chose our weapons {pruning shears, saws, etc} and started with the big apricot tree on the road...

tree pruning

 

Wayne did most of the pruning, answering our many questions about pruning and general care of fruit trees as he went.....

tree pruning

 

 

 We broke for a lunch of hot soup, fresh baked bread, chickpea and cabbage salad and lots of great conversation, then went back out and pruned a few more trees before we called it quits for the day. 

 tree pruning

We still have a couple of trees to prune, but pruning day this year was a joy!! As we were talking yesterday, several of us were remembering past pruning adventures. Picture two middle aged women who are afraid of heights, climbing up ladders, clutching a saw in one hand and hanging on for dear life with the other, trying to decide just what to prune off our poor trees!! It would take us hours to do one tree!! First, we had to decide how we wanted to prune the tree. We would go out, tools in hand, {and the book on pruning}, look at the tree and discuss which branches we should take off. Then we would gather our courage ……  climb up the ladder… and agonize over every cut we made. What we learned yesterday should make pruning in the future much easier!! {now if we could just teach the trees to bend their branches down to our level so we don’t have to climb ladders!!!}