We planted our Honey Crisp Apple Tree back in September of 2014…see it there on the left?
It’s grown quite a bit since then, and we hadn’t really done anything except let it grow…and grow…
But we knew that we needed to do something to our apple tree to make sure it stayed healthy, so we enlisted the help of our neighbor. Our neighbor has tons of fruit trees in his own yard, and actually learned to prune them from another neighbor in Dundee who use to be a orchardist. All sorts of neighborly love in Dundee!
The Renaissance Man is the keeper of this apple tree, so he and our neighbor talked a lot about the important components of pruning and then did a thorough inspection of the tree before making any cuts. It’s a good thing The Renaissance Man wanted to take the lead on this project, because I always shy away from cutting things…it makes me really nervous like I’m going to do something wrong and kill it!? We did our pruning in late February, which is a good time to prune because the “life of the tree is still in the roots.”
I was a bit shocked with the first cut (see above)…they basically cut out the center of the tree. It was an important cut, and one that I would have never confidently made by myself, good thing our neighbor has done this a time or two!
From there it was just cleaning up the branches. They left five main branches, and one of the five will get cut next February when we prune again. They also used stakes and twine to bend and pull the branches in directions to open up the center of tree.
And here is the damage…this is most of the cuttings from our pruning effort.
And the after!
I know we probably won’t get as many apples this year, but we’re playing the long game and I know this tree is going to thanks us!