Monday, June 1, 2015

Orchard Update and a Book Review

The fruit trees I planted this spring are growing very nicely. That first cut to get the main trunk to knee height is scary though! The trees do seem to respond well to the cut:
The tree above is a Spitzenburg. It is very happy here.

Not so happy is one of the original apple trees that was here when we moved in. I guess you are a little more than unhappy when you are dead. The winter must have been too much for it, especially after taking a beating from the deer the year before. The other original apple tree is doing great and it is just about time to thin the baby apples.
Every visit I make to our local library starts with a look at the new book shelves. They had an interesting book about forgotten apples (and of course I forgot the name of the book) ranking them by taste. My Sheepnose apple ranked dead last, not necessarily for the flavor, but apparently the texture is so awful tasters couldn't get past the texture to evaluate the taste. Maybe it is a good cider apple.
The book I did take out of the library, Grow a Little Fruit Tree, is a little gem. In no nonsense explanations and pictures this book explains exactly everything I need to know about growing/pruning small fruit trees.  The author, Ann Ralph, gave me the final push I needed to go out and make that drastic cut to my newly planted fruit trees. Her recommendations for summer pruning are also very well explained. Also included are sections on watering, fertilizing, and pest control. Every topic is addressed from an organic perspective. This book came along at just the right time in my orcharding. Ms Ralph's step-by-step pruning instructions will help me keep the growth of my trees at a manageable size.  This is one book I must have permanently on my bookshelves.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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