Happy New Year! Plus Puppy & Pruning

Happy New Year! Plus Puppy & Pruning

Happy new year friends. May 2020 bring you growth, happiness and beauty in your garden and elsewhere. We are getting ready to plant another 100 trees in the orchard, and hoping for a great harvest season later in the year.

Meet Bijou

A very short note this time, to first and foremost announce the new member of our farm, Bijou the baby Great Pyrenees.

This breed is ancient, bred thousands of years ago by the Basque people in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. They traditionally work as livestock guardian dogs. She’s the cutest, and having a puppy around is a non-stop dopamine machine, which is somewhat distracting to the main winter task this time of year ….

Pruning Workshops & Resources 

We have started the long winter task of pruning over 700 fruit trees, plus hundreds of roses and other woody shrubs and berries. Pruning is one of my very favorite tasks, long as it is. I find it meditative, conducive to long thoughts as I try to imagine how a tree will grow in the years to come.

Pruning tools

A reminder that we are holding two pruning workshops at the farm this month. The workshops will be 3 hours in length here in our orchard at Birdsong Orchards on the Saturday the 11th and Saturday the 25th of January from 12 to 3 pm.

or those that cannot attend, here are some links to my favorite books and tools for the job.

Tools
I like to use Felcos as my main pruning shears. They come in many sizes, but I personally prefer the 13 since it can be used with one or two hands: https://www.amazon.com/Felco-F-13-Classic-Manual-Pruning/dp/B000NCWRRE
Remember to sharpen and oil them regularly.

For branches of 2 inches or more in diameter, I am a big fan of folding Japanese pruning saws. Hida Tools in Berkeley is well worth visiting if you are in the area, but you can also order from them online:
https://hidatool.com/
https://hidatool.com/list/c/saws

Books
This is my favorite, probably the most extensive guide to pruning all the things: 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1465457607/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

These two books are not focused only on pruning, but have good sections about it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399580026/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/Holistic-Orchard-Fruits-Berries-Biological/dp/1933392134/ref=sr_1_1

YouTube
YouTube is packed with thousands of pruning videos, and sometimes it is helpful to see someone in action instead of reading and viewing static images. Search for the kind of tree you are pruning to watch some hands on guides.