Planting and Pruning

west fence hedge

The young hedge plants I’ve been establishing along the zone 1 west fence line is growing up fast. Deer have been the biggest challenge, so I lay a net over the young plants to keep them safe. Now, 2 years later, the plants are thriving and it’s time to lift the netting to create a fence. At the same time I set the fence, more plants went into the hedge line and pallets are backing the line to create a nice “hallway” for the young pants to grow without browsing predation. This hedge has everything in it, from willow to maple, daylily and comfrey. I lay a few of the larger big leaf maples, but the rest of the growth will need a few more years of established growth before the shaping of the hedge begins. I look forward to hosting a workshop around this craft as the plants mature.

apple orchard pruning

It’s been a heck of a summer for the fruit trees here at Leafhopper Farm. Our frost peach gave her fruit generously, while the old pear tree spent this summer in an “off year”. This was probably due to the huge production last year. Pears are picky about how you prune them, and I’ve been hacking that tree back a lot these past two years. I was not surprise to see only one fruit on the tree this year. The apples are still in recovery mode too. I think along with this pruning, I’ll put extra compost around the base of each tree this fall to give them a boost.

You can see from the picture above that I’m really cutting the orchard back. People might be shocked to see me pruning in late summer, well, I have some time right now, so I’m taking advantage and shearing back the branches to allow more light and air into the crown. It looks rough, but I think they will respond favorably to being thinned. The risk in doing this late in the summer, is stunting new growth and stressing the tree. These trees are old, established, and overgrown to begin with. Though they might try to put on new buds as winter comes, the ultimate shaping will help the tree in the long run.

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