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Help with an apple orchard

Posted by tennapple TN (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 7:54

I have recently purchased a 17 acre Apple Orchard. Originally I bought the property to use for my existing business as an Arborist. Since purchasing the property, I have become very interested getting the orchard back into shape and I am seeking some advice; possibly even paying for some "hands on" advice from someone who is in my general area but far enough away to not see me as competition (if that mentality exists).

Here are some facts:

There are appr. 1500 trees of varying varieties. All are in rows and marked/ separated by variety.

The orchard was ran as a pick your own orchard for appr 10 yrs but has been left, nearly unattended for 5-7 yrs.

There are two barns on property, one with a temp controlled storage room (appr 1500 sqft) and a row of refrigerators.

Every tree that i have checked is alive but there is a lot of undergrowth to manage which is my first priority.

I am a practicing Arborist so I have a working knowledge of tree biology and pruning but I also know that fruit tree pruning is VERY specific, even to species, so I am not pruning until I learn more.

Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge and experience with me.



Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help with an apple orchard

I've only had an orchard for 4-5 years now. Have learned some things but by no means know it all.

The trees need to be pruned, not more than 1/3 their overall size the first year while the trees are dormant. Next year prune again, not more than 1/3 thier overall size. Repeat until they are the size you need. Then prune yearly.

Be careful pruning the limbs because they can kickback & hurt you especially if you are using a ladder and you are below the limbs, or watch for possible kick back as it hits the ground. You probably know this being an arborist, I'm typing it for anyone who may not realize the dangers of overgrown trees.

If you plan on spraying it's a good time now before the buds bloom & the bees are out.

Here is a link that might be helpful:

http://umaine.edu/publications/2409e/

Good luck


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