Pruning Has Started

21

Thursday 23 January, 2014 by Uncle Spike

Spring is but a couple of weeks away, and so my farming chores ramp up for a while. Thankfully, I pruned and thinned the 120 large trees in the main orchard last winter, so just the removal of new growth in the centre of each tree is needed now – so this year it’s a more manageable task (i.e. not working for 12 days non-stop just on that job).

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OPEN BOWL OF A LARGE 35 YEAR OLD CLEMENTINE TREE

OPEN BOWL OF A LARGE 35 YEAR OLD CLEMENTINE TREE

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But the rest of the trees do need looking at.

Olive trees require heavy pruning back to generate fruit bearing new branches. Once a branch gets to be around 5 years old, the yield can drop dramatically. In commercial olive groves, you’ll find most trees kept to 2-3 metres high, and pruned into an open bowl shape every couple of years; whereas the locals let them grow 7-10 metres tall. Fine, but almost impossible to harvest with any efficiency. Around here they still beat the trees with very long sticks, whereas I use steps and a rake (like a curved ‘afro comb’ on a pole). However, they all have 15 family members on hand to forage around picking them up – but I work alone, hence I focus my efforts on harvesting efficiency.

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OLIVE TREES

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JUST ‘SHAPED’ THIS ONE

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EVEN LITTLE TREES GET THE 'SHAPING' TREATMENT

EVEN LITTLE TREES GET THE TREATMENT

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Most fruit tree enjoying some post harvest pruning back and or shaping to ensure they are not too tightly packed, have no crossing limbs and have suffient inner canopy light to sustain growth.

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5 YEAR OLD APRICOT TREE

5 YEAR OLD APRICOT TREE

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GREEN FIG TREE NEEDED A BIT OF CHOPPING BACK, EVEN THOUGH ONLY 5 YEARS OLD !

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QUINCE TREE

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Other trees tackled already or still on the list for a visit from the secateurs and saw blade include sweet cherry, sour cherry, red and green apple trees, pear, peach, avacado, bergamot, kumquat, orange, lemon, walnut, mulberry and black fig.

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PALOMA TREE (PINK GRAPEFUIT)

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POMEGRANATE TREES LOOK SO SAD AND BORING IN WINTER

POMEGRANATE TREES LOOK SO SAD AND BORING IN WINTER

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21 thoughts on “Pruning Has Started

  1. Maureen says:

    How many fruit trees do you have in total?

    Like

  2. Ladybuggz says:

    People on our street have a Quince Tree that is just dropping it’s ripe fruit and the Bears haven’t gotten too it yet, I’ve seen them mentioned in old recipe books but have never eaten them, are they a cross between an apple and pear? What is the taste of them? Just wondering if it’s worth knocking on their door to ask for a few for canning.
    I am amazed at the variety of your tree’s, your own grocery store in your back yard! Just wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Quince are indeed a weird, but wonderful fruit. My wife likes to eat them raw, and it’s great roughage for sure… but if you ask me, they have the texture of a lump of cardboard, lol.

      They taste yes, between a pear and an apple, but you know the slightly roughish feel or texture to the flesh of a pear? Well, imagine a solidified version of that, and you’ve got a quince!

      Personally I use them in cooking. They make a superb jam, or Quince Jelly is another popular use. I tend to cut them up raw and throw into a casserole or curry – they add a semi-sweet taste without breaking down (like apple) into a sloppy pulp.

      So yes, bang on that door! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] probably transplanted from elsewhere, and these trees love to regenerate. For those who have asked, THIS LINK shows us pruning our trees last year, including […]

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  4. Sue Slaght says:

    I have learned a great deal this morning about olives. another of our favorite things from Turkey. My husband detested olives until our trip . Once he had Turkish olives he loved them . 🙂

    Like

  5. […] A must-read for gardeners, recyclers and nature lovers.  Uncle Spike (also no relation), now that pruning has started, you might like to check in with […]

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  6. I’ve just added the olive trees to my list of chores but at least I have more than a couple of weeks until Spring.

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  7. fredrieka says:

    we have over 200 apple trees dad only pruned the ones that had tasty apples he left the others for shade. I love all the apples they all taste good to me. 😀

    Like

  8. Gill McGrath says:

    nice place. My fig tree looks like that!

    Liked by 1 person

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