This Friday we had beautiful weather...it was sunny and 40 degrees. Made us really hopeful that spring will arrive sometime sooner rather than later. I had a local Mennonite man recommended to me to come and prune our fruit trees. Terry and I have attempted to trim the trees but we really didn't know what we were doing and most likely did more harm than good.
Darryl arrived around 10:00 am and spent the entire day trimming 15 trees. He started with a small cherry tree that has never produced fruit in the almost ten years that we have owned the property. This tree for the past few years leafs out beautiful but within a month, the leaves have started to curl and then turn brown and fall off. He trimmed off a larger limb that had "brown rot".
He was very patient with us and taught all of us the basics of pruning and care for healthy fruit trees. We decided to make this investment this year with the rising cost of groceries, we want to ensure that we can have the best fruit to preserve and perhaps barter the extra.
We have 2 cherry trees, 1 Italian plum, 3 red plums, 1 pear, 3 apricot, and 5 apple. There is a very large apple tree that we have never attempted to prune that he estimates will take 2 hours to prune. He ran out of daylight and will have to come back another day to finish.
Our chore on the next pretty day, hopefully this next week, will be to spray dormant oil on the entire tree....from trunk to end of all the limbs. As Darryl explained, the dormant oil will suffocate any eggs or insects in the bark. We have never done this previously to any of our trees and we have had issues with spots on our fruit. Hopefully this will do the trick.
He also highly recommended that we put out fertilizer spikes around the drip line of the tree. We have done this previously, but not consistently.
You guys may know all this stuff but we didn't so I thought I would share. If I missed anything, leave me a comment....I'll take all the info I can get.