Category: Orcharding

In The Orchard

In March and April, new wood was top-worked by bark grafting onto plum tree limbs at the MOFGA orchard. My mid-July all grafts were growing well. C.J. Walke photo. By C.J. Walke Spring Freeze In my last article, I wrote about shifting weather patterns and their effects on our fruit trees. I wrote that the

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Orchard

By C.J. Walke As the days grow longer and the sun climbs higher, we are slowly rolling into the month of March, and it’s time to prune your fruit trees and maintain the structural framework that will support bushels of beautiful, organically grown fruit. Remember to keep your tools sharp and your cuts clean, and

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Apple Calendar

By C.J. Walke Growing organic tree fruit can be a bit of a challenge, considering the various insects and diseases that like to call your fruit tree home and the relatively short efficacy window of organic control materials; so being attentive to stages of fruit development and biological cycles of pests in your orchard is

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In the Orchard

When fruits aren’t thinned, a tree will produce many small apples rather than fewer, larger fruits. English photo. Summer Tasks By C. J. Walke As spring rolls into summer, I hope you’ve had a beautifully blooming, successfully pollinated orchard and avoided those late spring frosts that can kill blossoms and ruin your hopes for a

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Polycultures in Orchards

Comfrey growing under an apple tree at John Bunker’s Super Chilly Farm in Palermo and at Judy Berk and David Foley’s Ocean Glimpse Farm in Northport. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulator – a taprooted plant that draws nutrients up from deep in the soil and cycles them to orchard plants. English photos. By C.J. Walke

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How to Grow Pear trees

Toki Oshima drawing One of the most beautiful sights in the world is a branch laden with Seckel pears – something about that rosy blush against such smooth bronze flesh. Perhaps the anticipation of their sweet, juicy flavor brightens the sight even more. A home grown pear picked just before full ripeness, the aroma, the

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A Spring Grafting Primer

A whip and tongue graft works well on small-diameter branches. Make a slanted cut and a tongue in a branch of the rootstock tree. Rob Lemire photo. Likewise, make a slanted cut and a tongue in the scion. Rob Lemire photo. Fit the scion into the prepared branch. Rob Lemire photo. Wrap the graft completely

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In the Orchard Starting the Season

European apple sawfly larva damage. Photo by C.J. Walke By C.J. Walke As winter draws to a close, the days continue to lengthen and we approach early March, it is time to prune the orchard (see The MOF&G, Dec. 2010-Feb. 2011), collect scionwood for grafting, prepare to plant young trees and patiently await the brilliant

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Pruning

The branch collar is the wrinkled-looking tissue where one branch joins another or joins the trunk of a tree. English photo. By C.J. Walke As the ground freezes and winter takes hold, our fruit trees become dormant and settle in for their own winter’s nap. The trees may be dormant and we may spend more

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Alley Cropping

Jack Kertesz spearheaded the alley cropping demonstration at MOFGA’s orchard in Unity, showing how annual and perennial crops could be interplanted in a young orchard to gain income while waiting for fruit trees to mature. By Jack Kertesz Imagine working with a blank slate of ground and feeling that the outcome might look like some

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