Tag Archives: pruning

Off With Its Head!

March 3, 2017

The bold Honeycrisp is too tall! “Bring down the height and the apples are within reach, plus the ladder can stay in the shed.” We all nod with approval. Ingela is convincing.c-wp_hc-before-20170218_006c-hc-after-wp_20170218_007

Eight of us gathered in February to enjoy Ingela’s annual pruning class. She walked around each tree, backed up, pondered, then attacked. Swiftly and gracefully, she snipped, sawed, and talked us through the process.




Ingela will train the new Harrow Delight pear to a central leader so we have different training styles in the orchard. She carefully ties down the new scaffold branches, denying their desired upright position.sm-pear-before-wp_20170218_001sm-pear-after-wp_20170218_004





Tips from Ingela for your bypass pruners:

  • * For an effective tool – Always keep a sharpening tool for your   pruners on your belt.
  • * For sanitation – Have a bottle of 50% water 50% alcohol in your tool belt.
  • * For clean cuts – Adjust your pruners so there is minimal play between the blades.
  • * Annual cleaning – Note the bolt that locks the pruning blades. When you take the tool apart for an annual cleaning, add a little lithium grease.

What a pleasure to watch an excellent tradesperson. Ingela’s ease with trees comes from years of pruning plus a complete knowledge of how fruit trees grow.

Join us some time in April when we graft a Rescue scion onto the new Harrow Delight pear tree. We should get better pollination from this strategy, but it’s just as much an excuse to provide a fun educational experience.

Ruth Callard

Fruit Tree Pruning – Short-term Losses for Long-term Gains

Februrary, 26, 2014

On the cool Saturday morning of February 15, nine of us huddled around the multi-varietal021514 big picture pear photo 31 web pear tree. We listened closely, moving from tree to tree, absorbing as much information as we could during the comprehensive pruning class taught by Ingela Wanerstrand.

Since the fruit trees are just coming into their fourth year, much of the pruning advice centered around training the trees and roots for strength in early years so they will bear well in the future. A few winced when she urged us to take off the fruit for the first three or four years. After looking at the faces, she followed up with this consolation, “Well, maybe leave one.”

Ingela initially inspected the results of her pruning from the prior year. She was very pleased, mostly with the presence of many fruit buds near to the center of the trees.

Taking aim at the blackberries!
Come for any amount of time that works for you. Or, bring muffins.
Sat, Mar 1, 2-4pm, Work Party
Sun, Mar 16, 2-4pm, Work Party
Sat, Apr 5, 2-4pm, Work Party

She demonstrated spur pruning, challenges of twisting branches and blind wood, how to work with apical dominance through pruning and bending, the importance of fruit thinning, open vase versus central leader shapes, and tying branches for less or more vigor. The magic is in the way she constantly made decisions about priorities and design.

She had a choice of taking out a branch connected to a branch or a branch connected to the trunk and she chose to keep the branch connected to the trunk. On the multi-varietal pear, she headed back the more vigorous Harrow’s Delight so the other varieties could compete. She chose to head back a branch to another side branch of similar size so as not to create too many water sprouts.

We all beamed when we got to the Liberty. It is our star. It has a beautiful open-vase 021514 Liberty saw photo 23 web rotatestructure with a whorl of sturdy branches and well-angled crotches. (Who would have known from it’s first summer when it was a very tall stick with hardly a branch!)

Ingela loves to go back each year to the trees she prunes. Some trees she has been pruning for 17 years! “That’s the best way to learn,” she urged, “by looking at the results of each of the choices you made.”

We are delighted that Ingela likes to keep coming back! Stay tuned for another class from the master next February.


A snippit from the pruning pro

March 16, 2013

Ingela decided that the William’s Pride would be an Open Center fruit tree. To counter the current characteristic of apical dominance (note the tall skyward branch in the Before photo), she bent the tall, central branch to about a 45-degree angle and then tied it down. She kept some small branches on the trunk as they will fruit this summer. Then she headed back the two other tall branches and tied them down to maximize fruit and branching.