Sunday, 11 June 2017

Pruning workshop with Ian Clarke (June working bee)

25 of us gathered at the library apples to attend a pruning workshop lead by Ian Clarke.

Ian has 55 years experience as an orchardist, and the last 20 years as a biodynamic fruit tree expert.

He showed us his method of bevelling larger pruning cuts, which reduces the surface area and speeds up the healing over process.

With each tree we were asked to examine the branches to remove. It was technical work and many of us felt overwhelmed by the matrix of possibilities.

On apples and pears the best fruit comes from the second and third year fruiting buds, which are the pregnant looking ones.

Ian mentioned it is common that people prune for aesthetics and not for fruit, so observe the second and third year buds and only remove those branches that are overcrowding.

Ian advised against using loppers because they bruise the branches, which encourages disease.

Disease such as woolly aphids can be treated in a number of ways, which we discovered in last year's workshop. Ian's notes for the treatment of disease can be found here (once there scroll down).

Thank you so much Ian Clarke for gifting your knowledge again this year. We look forward to the apples at the library producing another abundant crop. Artist as Family made a Library Fuji cider with them this year. What will you do with this free resource that is 100% community nourishment?

For insurance purposes, those who came included: Patrick Jones (facilitator), Ian Clarke (presenter), Jeremy Yau, Marcus and Kaiden Harmsen, Jonathan Swan, Olivia Gourley, Pam Armstrong, Alix Downing, Emily Wilden, Sharon Reading, Tina Whitaker, Geordie Collins, Robbie Woohey, Jade Dela Haye, Chris Dilworth, Odette Dilworth, Lauren Richardson, Fe Porter, Fab, Luna and Ant Petrucci,  Dora Berenyi, Nick Ritar, Brenna Quinlan, Tracey MacDonald, Tracey Collinson.