My Dad's fruit tree pruning
As the son of an orchardist I confess that I haven't retained the knowledge of my forefathers about fruit trees. Admittedly my parents and uncle did stop working as orchardists and market gardeners when I was a child, but even with my later horticultural studies I've not retained that knowledge. Yes, shame on me! However, this is largely because throughout my adult life I've not lived anywhere with gardens that have included fruit trees. So even though Dad has shared his knowledge over the years I've not put it into use because I've not had fruit trees. Yes, shame on me again!
My Dad tells me that he has been pruning fruit trees for 66 years. This got me thinking. I really needed to remedy my lack of my Dad's wealth of knowledge and experience. So I recently headed over to my heritage land to visit Dad and to video him sharing his pruning knowledge so that our family has a record of his vast knowledge. Well perhaps at least some of it!
Personally I wanted a record of his knowledge so that one day when I start to plant fruit trees I'd have Dad telling me how to prune. Importantly for me I wanted to have Dad telling me this information with his voice and with his experience. I know there is lots of information in books, magazines and online, but I wanted Dad's knowledge so that I can continue to hear his voice for the years ahead.
I may be biased, but I think he's a legend. At 82 he's still pruning fruit trees and roses for people in the community, although he is slowing down a little and getting wiser with pruning to avoid using ladders (much safer, believe me I'm a rehabilitation nurse who looks after people with head injuries who have fallen off ladders!!). Dad keeps doing it because people can't find gardeners who have fruit tree pruning knowledge and experience which I think is not good. It seems that we may be loosing these skills within our community!
I hope you enjoy watching and listening to my Dad pruning. And as an aside I encourage you to take the time to video someone you know sharing their life experiences and knowledge. It's been a very special thing for me to do and I know I will really value listening to Dad for years to come.
So here is my Dad explaining the differences between fruiting buds and growth buds on an apricot tree.
Here's Dad doing some pruning of the apricot tree.
Here is Dad pruning a peach tree.