April – Making the cut

We’ve been trying to get fruit trees planted since we moved here.  We bought three apple trees a year or so ago at an Amish mud sale and we’re training them to espalier along a fence line in the back yard close to the patio.  However, I still wanted peaches, pears and cherries.  I always seemed to be too late to order them from the Adams County tree farm (seriously, I think you have to order them five years ahead of time — they are ALWAYS sold out).  Then I found out about Kauffman’s Fruit Farm.  They sell bare root fruit trees in the spring.  We picked them up a few days ago — six tall twigs in a big trash bag.

We’ve been preparing space inside the garden fence to protect our new “orchard.”  And I’ve been reading the book “Grow a Little Fruit Tree,” that basically says plant the tree and then chop it off at knee level.  WHAT!?!  The premise is that where you cut it becomes the main trunk, and then the branches grow from there — giving us an orchard that is accessible without climbing ladders or trees.

Chris dug the holes and held the twigs straight while I filled in the dirt and tamped them down all snug in their new garden space.  And then I took the garden clippers — and ruthlessly cut each one down to almost nothing!  I sure hope this works.

And if it does, there is just enough space left for two apricot trees – which we’ve ordered already for next spring.

We brought home a sack of long twigs.
Chris dug nice deep holes for the bare roots.
We made sure they are standing up straight and filled in the holes.
And we cut off the tops of the trees so they are about knee high.  The cat seems to know there will be no climbing up these trees today (or ever!).


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