Home and Garden

Oh Fruit! Part One,the Tools.

A fairly recent passion of mine is fruit trees.  Ironically, it was my husband that initially suggested we plant fruit trees in our yard.

We built our home and for the first two years our yard was treeless.  It was “high-time” to plant some trees, and of course my husband and I had different ideas about it. I love birch and maples and was pushing for these lower maintenance trees.  However, my husband had visions of the children picking fruit, biting into it and seeing the juice run down their chins. He convinced me with his vision!

After a bit of research we decided to plant pear trees in the front yard. We purchased two Asian pear varieties from a catalog and planted them that summer.

Fast forward 2 years. We had our first crop of pears…about a half dozen fruits on two trees. And oh, oh, OH, were they tasty! I was hooked. And I needed to figure out how to get the trees to produce more of these golden, succulent jewels!

Because I knew we already had a problem.  The trees had never been pruned, and even I could tell they needed it.  Fortunately, I found a class hosted by a local fruit grower on how to prune and take care of fruit trees.

So today’s post will start with a basic question.  What tools are needed to prune a fruit tree?

I am so glad you asked! I have the information right here for you!!

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First up, you will want a pair of these lovely handheld bypass pruners.  No need to break the bank, you can pretty much find these at any garden or home improvement store. I did spend a little more on this pair because I knew they would receive heavy use, and I didn’t want to run to the store every time I broke a pair of pruners.

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Next, you will want a handheld saw. This one has a fancy serrated blade that never needs to be sharpened. It folds up and fits into my pocket when I am not using it. You will spend a little more on this, and can find it in farm catalogs, online or at a local farm supply store.

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Long handled pruners. These are a must if you have bigger trees, and your handheld pruners can no longer do the job. I prefer the bypass style vs. the anvil style for fruit trees because it makes a cleaner cut. You will find a big selection of these at pretty much any garden or home store. They can also be purchased online or from a farm catalog. Don’t be overwhelmed by the choices, pick something in your budget and you feel comfortable using. If I were to give any preference, I would pick a pair that has forged steel blades vs. stamped steel…they can be sharpened and will last longer.

DSC_0304It’s always nice to have a cute little helper!

I’m only half joking here, you will want to pick up the debris right away and put it on your compost or burn pile. Having a helper makes this job easier and frees up your attention to focus on how the tree is looking as you prune.

Other items you may need are an 8 foot ladder if you have a bigger tree, and a chainsaw if you have a large limb that needs to be taken off.

Fantastic! With these items on hand, you will be ready for my next “Oh, Fruit!” post about pruning!

Happy trails!

Danielle

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