cabin fever pruning

it has been a very cold and snowy winter with the whole “polar vortex” aka winter hitting us pretty hard.

i’ve been busy with projects around the house, but cabin fever has me wanting to work outside.  this last week we actually had weather above 20 degrees, and with little else to do outside, pruning the apricot seemed like a good plan.

many folks recommend pruning apricots into an “open vase” form, with an open center, unlike the “central leader” method recommended for apples and pears. i like the look of the “open vase” and find it easier to keep trees small.  this apricot was in need of some pruning.  it didn’t bear much fruit at all last year, and my hope is that with pruning, it will deliver a better yield.

tree1this is our tree before, two main trunks, where there should be one, and a central leader form.  first business was to dispatch one of the trunks, then cut the central leader back.  once that was done i pruned for shape.  tree3its quite a bit smaller tree now.  but i’m trying to keep it small so it won’t get in the way of the hoop house going up this summer.  much more on that in the coming months.

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4 responses to “cabin fever pruning

  1. How are your hives making out with this unusually cold winter?

    • we think we have lost all of them. but won’t know for certain until it get warm enough to open them. if we have lost them we are likely going to take a break from beekeeping for a year while we work on other projects, putting up hoop house, rainwater harvesting tanks, etc.
      but we will certainly get new hives in the near future.

  2. I was encouraged by two friends to prune my apricot fearlessly and by one to leave it alone. Last year I suppose it was sort of a modified open vase. I took the advice of the two friends and think I seriously over-prune. One of those friends is telling me, “Just wait for the magnificent harvest.” Sigh. I don’t know. I mean, I really pruned it. One advantage is I think I spared it from high desert high wind damage. Winter’s not done with us yet either. It’s not like where you are but high desert winters are tremendously unpredictable. Hope to hear about your apricot and your bees!

  3. Sorry to hear that-fingers crossed that enough of them survive.

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