Saturday, April 26, 2008

Happy face in the orchard!

I was smiling in the orchard today - I used a hand saw to do some pruning on a few selected trees and found this little guy smiling back at me! Later I asked my wonderful husband to bring over his chain saw and trimmed a little closer - got rid of the stub where this diseased wood was showing.

I trimmed two apple trees and one Damson plum. I mostly used a hand pruner and now have a sore spot on my palm. Next time I am taking a pair of loppers.

I recognized some diseased spots on the plum, and hopefully trimmed all of them out. I saved some of the trimmings for a bouquet- they were just about to blossom - but we had NO ROOM in the car to bring them home - DH did allow me to bring some of the apple trimmings. I was told that if you don't have a pollinator apple tree (like we don't for the MacIntosh in our back yard) you can take trimmings from another tree, put them in a bucket of water under the tree, and the bees will pollinate your tree from the trimmings.

I also started layering some dwarfing rootstocks that are sticking up, and cut a few branches from some trees that have come down that I hope to save by grafting onto the rootstocks. I've ordered a grafting tool from A.M. Leonard and it should come some time this week, I will practice on some trimmings from our MacIntosh here and then try it. It is a little late in the year to start grafting, it is supposed to be done while the rootstock and scion wood are dormant, but the worst that can happen is that it won't work and I'll get some practice before doing it seriously next year. If I luck out and it works, I'll have year's head start.

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