apple trees

The deer are getting brave

Coming out in daylight they must be getting hungry. We feed them about 200# of corn every winter it seems to keep them away from the shrubs. After eating this deer came right up to the back porch and passed within 5′ of the windows. I didn’t get that photo because I was writing this post. This photo was taken full telephoto through two panes of glass.


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New growth after a hard prune

 I have learned that a hard prune does indeed encourage new growth. But if I would let all of this new growth develop into vertical branches, I would have a big pruning job next spring. I did notice that at this stage of growth they break off very easily.

The only tools I needed were a step ladder and a pair of leather gloves. I gave all the main limbs a gentle rub down which removed all the new vertical growth. It required very little time and I plan to do this about once a month through out the growing season.

The new growth near the terminal end of the main limbs will remain and hopefully develop into fruit bearing branches. I or the deer will only get a few apples this year though. John

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Down but not out!

The last two weeks, we had some beautiful weather and I was able to get my trees all pruned and sprayed. It was the first time I had to use pruners, loppers, compound loppers, bow saw and a chain saw to do the job and I hope I never have to do a hard prune again. I also planted peppers, tomatoes and eggplant seed. During this time I had infected sinuousness which infected my lungs and turned to viral pneumonia. The same thing happened last Fall and it required six weeks to get back to normal. I hope that is not the case now as I have emails and Skype calls to catch up on as well as some posting and gardening of coarse. John

Categories: apple trees, soil blocks | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Oh boy what a job

 Today I finished the hard prune on my apple trees. I try to learn something new every day. What I learned on this job was, it’s a job for a much younger man than me although it will never be required again in my life time. Tomorrow I will spray the trees with oil spray and again in a couple of weeks. I will spray them again with a GP spray before pink tip. After that I will prepare the new Orchard Bee nests and when the blossoms start to open, I will remove them from the fridge and turn them loose. I will suspend any spraying until the orchard/honey bees have disappeared. john

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A good day today


I got the second tree pruned when it started to rain and we are supposed to get nearly 2”. I put my tools away and ducked into the greenhouse. You can see three larger limbs leaning against the fence in the background. They along with others will be used for the smoker next year.



While in the greenhouse, I planted some small sweet potatoes from last years harvest. I have never tried this but I hope it works. If I get more than one sprout per spud, I will cut the spud and repot them individually. I am hoping this works because I am sick and tired of the quality of slips you get through the mail or L&G centers. John





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Today I started a hard prune on the apple trees

The temperature to-day was in the high 50s with lots of sunshine. A beautiful day to be outside pruning apple trees. The trees have been producing fewer and fewer apples the last several years and I have learned that a hard prune may bring back the production. Well I did what I think is a hard prune and the wife and neighbors probably think I killed the tree. It has been said that you should be able to throw a cat through the tree without hitting any branches. Well I could throw several cats through the tree. It is also said not to expect many apples the first year after a hard prune (no kidding). The next two photos are before and after the prune. We will see what happens next. John


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