Fruit on the Farm

Although we grow a lot of vegetables we also have 3 apple trees, 1 pear tree and concord grapes that were already on our property. Due to the short growing season and late snow storms that are common here we have only gotten fruit off our trees half of the years we’ve lived here. In the spring the trees start to bud out and if it snows after the flowers open we lose any chance of fruiting. This year we were lucky and managed to have the trees fruit.

We are also working on a potential raspberry patch, rhubarb and strawberries. The birds will be our biggest issue as they have been tasting almost every apple on the tree. We’ll see how it goes.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Fruit trees

The fruit trees were professionally pruned today! The previous owners hadn’t maintained them in years and they look so much better now. If you’ve never pruned a fruit tree, don’t do it unless you’ve had a little hands on training! It’s a matter of yield. If it’s not pruned correctly, you won’t get the fruit you want.

Here is an example of what happens with a bad prune job.

pear tree

Blunt cuts to larger branches cause sprays of tiny branches to grow straight up rather than well formed branches reaching out from the tree. It’s not only very unattractive, it also makes it impossible to have a large crop of fruit. These tiny branches, even if they do have pollinated flowers, won’t be able to hold the weight of fruit and will never make it to full ripening without falling off the tree.

This is a pear tree and the ones above are apple. We didn’t get any fruit last year. The trees were covered in flowers in the spring and a Mother’s Day storm drop 18 inches of snow resulting in not only destroying the flowers, but a few broken branches too. There were peach trees on the property but they didn’t survive. I’m considering buying more, but we have enough to work on at the moment!