One of the best ways to maintain both heritage varieties and more modern species is through a yearly maintenance program, an important part of which one is pruning.
Pruning encourages new growth, stimulates fruit development and increases air circulation, which in turn assist in reduced levels of damaged fruit.
Did you know we have several thousand varieties of apple trees worldwide? Some believe they originated in Central Asia and were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century.
Modern orchards mostly consist of Cortland, Empire, McIntosh, Northern Spy, Paula Red, Delicious and other varieties. Gaining great favour are Ambrosia, Gala, Honey Crisp, Red Prince and several others.
Now a great many of our heritage apple trees are scattered through fence rows, abandoned orchards, hobby farms and several apple trees are on general farms for domestic consumption. Oh, if we only knew what happened to the Wolf River, Saint Lawrence, Duchess, Blue Pearmain, D'Arcy Spice, King, Gravenstein, Greening, Pippen or Ben Davis (sometimes known as the mortgage lifter) varieties.
I prefer dormant pruning, removing dead and broken branches first, followed by shaping the tree to allow for greater air circulation and distribution of sunlight and finally remove branches that would otherwise allow for the development of inferior fruit.
I can also try to assist you to determine some of the verities you may own and and research where to purchase planting stock.
Landscaping, at least for me, normally falls into two principal categories - hardscaping and softscaping, with two lessor used categories being infrastructure and general maintenance.
Hardscaping, as one might guess, encompasses working with products such as natural boulders, concrete, decking, natural and man-made stone.
Softscaping involves vegetation ranging from plants to trees and organic surface treatment.
Infrastructure refers to gas lines, electrical and plumbing for pools, hot tubs, generators, gas fire pits, outside showers, outdoor kitchens and lighting.
Maintenance is important to keep a landscaped property healthy and looking its best. This ranges from cutting of grass, general tending to gardens, pruning and the inspection, treatment and preservation of man-made and natural products.
Some landscaping ideas that are becoming very popular are:
1) Attracting wildlife to one’s property, in particular butterflies and birds
2) The desire to grow one’s own food using landscaped vegetable gardens
3) Planting indigenous species and the use of natural products
4) The use of recycled materials
5) Using natural plantings to act as wind breaks and to help heat and cool one’s property
6) Developing an outdoor living space that makes greater use of what is, in reality, the short time we can enjoy the outdoors
Alex Maxwell. Ph# (519) 599-6194