Last year, I hosted a couple of Pruning Workshops with arborist Cheyenne Thomas.
I had to confess that, even though I never claim to be a gardener, per se – but rather a designer of homes and yards in which gardens will play a huge role – I had not been able to get over my dread of pruning the living branches of my trees.
Cheyenne explained why we needed to get over our reluctance: Because throughout human history, we’ve selected plants, in large part, by their vigor (as well as taste and other qualities), and our continued practice has created plants essentially too vigorous for their own good.
So, to help them, we need to limit how many branches are allowed to grow.
It turns out I am not the only one with this hesitation! All of us suffered as we took the saws to the living flesh of the trees, but we did it.
My apricot tree was so loaded with baby fruit, I called Cheyenne to ask whether some of them should be removed, as I’d heard.
He said Yes. And again I was faced with the difficulty of removing living flesh from my tree again! But I did it.
Cheyenne suggested I take off enough fruit to leave one apricot approximately every three inches, so I did. Here’s one of my branches, and all the removed fruits on the ground beneath.
If your trees are overloaded, you can leave the bumper crop, and you’ll have small fruit and more pits and skin to deal with. If you thin your fruit, you’ll have fewer but larger ones.
I’ll show you what we get in a few weeks….
Happy days in the garden.