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Category Archives: Fruit Trees

Pruning Demonstration from the Raincatcher’s Orchard

April 8, 2022

It was a grey day in March when Raincatcher’s volunteers gathered in the orchard to learn about fruit tree pruning with Jeff Raska.

Fruit trees are pruned to stimulate the growth of new fruit bearing wood and control the direction of the new growth, allowing for maximum harvest, sunlight and airflow.

You may feel like I do and would like to have Jeff standing beside you as you begin. We have provided this video and *some very good notes you can use next year before wielding those shears.

Seasoned Master Gardener Volunteers and Interns in the Orchard, happy with their work having learned the secrets of pruning from our Dallas County Extension Agents

*Fruit Tree Pruning Notes

Ann Lamb, Dallas County Master Gardener Class of 2005

Pictures and video compiled by Starla Willis Class of 2011

Notes by Katarina Velasco Graham, Dallas County Extension Agent – Horticulture.  

Dates to Remember:

Dallas County Master Gardener Spring Tour-April 30 and May 1st

Raincatcher’s Plant Sale-May 19th

Apple Trees Espaliered

We have planted 4 varieties of apple trees at The Raincatcher’s Garden. Jim gives us the names of the apples and a lesson in espalier in this utube video.

Tomorrow morning, March 6th between 9 and noon, Jeff Raska will be at The Raincatcher’s Garden to prune our new apple trees and our peach and plum trees. Join us!

Video by Starla Willis

Apple talk by Jim Dempsey

More about out orchard varieties here.

 

 

Pomegranates at The Raincatcher’s Garden

The orchard was one of the first things planned when we started up at Raincatcher’s garden of Midway Hills.   Six different trees were chosen and then planted in  January 2015.  Most of these were purchased, but the pomegranate was brought over from our previous location. One of the things about planning and planting an orchard is to realize that it usually takes 3 years for the trees to bear fruit.  So we planted, pruned, and then waited.   The first season was as expected – we could see the growth pattern of the different trees, but there was no fruit.

Our Very Own Pom Transplant

Our Very Own Pom Transplant

The winter came, and the trees lost their leaves and once again we waited till early February – and we pruned according to the type of tree – pears wrap around and grow vertically, while plums and peaches are pruned to a bowl type shape.

The last 2, persimmon and pomegranate, are more shrub-like and were not touched by the pruners.   They were about 2-3 feet tall at this time.

By March new growth was appearing and the effects of pruning was taking shape — a few blossoms appeared on the plums and peaches, but fruit did not follow. The pomegranate, however, was a different story – it began to grow, — and then blossoms appeared in March and April with this beautiful orange bud which then became a flower – the bees came to pollinate ,  and then fruit started to form.  The shrub is now over 5 feet tall and is laden with beautiful orangey pomegranates  -Yes  it’s only the second year, but we will have pomegranates in the late Fall.

Pomegranate Flowers Followed by Fruit

Pomegranate Flowers Followed by Fruit

Pomegranates are ready to harvest about 6 months after the flowers appear, so come later October or November our pomegranates will be ready. They should be the size of an orange and the color will vary from yellow to bright red.     We are looking forward to  celebrating this harvest by making some pomegranate jelly !

Pomegranates Ripening!

Pomegranates Ripening!

Starla

Orchard beginnings here.

Berms and Tree Planting at The Raincatcher’s Garden

We are excited about our new orchard.  Peaches, plums, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, and grapes, figs, and blackberries will be part of our future crops and future recipes.

Dig in to this video to learn the purpose of a berm. We built berms around our trees in the orchard. This is also useful information for other types of tree planting.

 

Next Tuesday, March 3rd 10-noon, we will be awaiting the arrival and planting of large container grown and balled and burlapped trees. Last week a Ginkgo tree was planted. Next week: Chinquapin oak ,Mexican Oak, Lacey Oak, and Cedar Elm. All tree huggers invited!

Best cinematographer: Starla

Our recipe list here.

Ann

 

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