We like a long winter. Orchard visitors often ask ‘what do you do in the winter?’ Answer: Prune the trees! Question: ‘ALL of them?’ Answer: ‘That’s the plan – usually we get it done. ‘  A long winter gives us a little more time, keeping the trees in dormancy while we operate.
Why bother?  Because trees are in the seed-spreading business, not the apple business. Unpruned apple trees will swiftly become dense thickets of vertical branches with tons of little greenish fruits that persuade non-humans to swallow seeds and plant them far and wide in the obvious way.
(Here’s a pruning video, starring Fitz Campbell.)
To get grocery

Fitz, Mr. Pruning.


fruit, you need fewer apples per tree and strong, outward-angled branches. That way, heavy crops won’t break branches and sunlight will reach as many apples as possible. Sunlight makes apples sweeten up and color up. Bugs, birds and beasts are satisfied with the sour little green apples that un-pruned trees would grow. The birds and beasts snapping up those little green fruits would carry the
Pruning SMW pole

Man with pole-saw.


seeds off and plant the next generation of trees: mission accomplished, tree-wise.
But people are picky. People want pleasure. Pruners help with that.
Man with saw in tree.

Man with saw in tree.

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