Pruning with Jay 2010

Well our luck held out once again, as predictions of rain/snow and cold temperatures took a back seat for our annual pruning class. The green room filled to overflowing, we settled in with the fireplace going, just in case. This was #2 in this years "Think Green Garden Series".

Jay Davison, who is our area soil & plant expert with the University of Nevada Co-op Extension, has been teaching this seminar for the last 9 years now, and I still learn something new to take back out to the garden with me each time. This year it was a "fruit tree" moment when I realized I (read "Robert" here) was probably cutting off the majority of my fruit producing branches every spring on our plumcot tree.

We downloaded his PowerPoint presentation to MyPassport backup, and I hope to have it uploaded to our website later today. But for now here a quick few highlights to keep you going if you just HAVE to get out in the garden today. It is a beautiful sunny day isn't it....and don't forget to gaze up at the moon tonight, should be a full one.

Why to prune:
Physically control (manage & enhance) plant growth and development
Change shape of a plant
Improve plant health
Remove hazards
Increase fruit production
Etc. etc. etc. (Have a reason to prune)

Four Rules for Successful Pruning Cuts:
1) Never leave a stub
2) When “heading back always cut to an outside facing bud or branch
3) When “thinning” cut just outside the branch collar
4) Do not paint or seal pruning cut

Useful Web Sites for Pruning
Fruit Trees
Shade Trees
Thanks again Jay! As always, your class was a fun learning experience.

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Pruning with Jay

This last Saturday found us gathering in the slightly chilly "Green Room" for another informative class, this time on pruning. Jay Davison, our Area Soil specialist with the UNR Co-operative Extension office was on hand for the 8th year in a row to teach us the ins and outs of pruning just about everything. We covered fruit trees, shade trees, hedges, name it. After an hour inside, we headed out front to do some pruning on the flowering crabapple 'Florabunda' that is by the front door of the gift shop. He started in, and I cringed a little at the the thought of loosing all those beautiful buds that would be opening in the next month. I gathered up branches and passed them to all that wanted to take some home to force inside the house and enjoy now. Jay finally "felt my pain" though and stopped the actually pruning, and showed me where to do the cuts after it blooms. So, you will see me out there sometime in late April taking care of the rest of the pruning that this particular beauty needs.
It was out back to the display garden next to take a look at the old apple tree that he has been working on for the last 7 years or so. A little bit each year, he takes some branches off and checks to see for the overall health of his old tree. This year he found a bug infestation of scale that was never there before, so the dormant oil, an organic way to control the bugs, will be coming out of the storage room and the tree will get a good soaking this week.

After the class was over, it was on to the worm bin to open it up and check on it's progress. There are what seems to me to be thousands and thousands of worms tucked under the lid. I can't wait for Darren Murphy, from Sierra Worm Solutions to come back out in the early summer to help us harvest our first crop of castings. He is the one that installed the system for us and is the local "go to" guy for all worm related things in this area. We will be having another seminar with him soon, so watch your emails for updates.The day turned out to be a beautiful one. Slightly cool, but the sun was shining and no big winds to speak of. Bob was busy on the forklift most of the day putting away all the trees we just got in. It looks so great to see the nursery filling up with all the promise of spring.

See you soon, Susan