On an April day, Casey Dahl of Washington Island’s Folk Tree Farm shared his pruning knowledge with some neighbors in their old apple orchard. The trees had not been pruned in years, and they wanted to learn more about how to care for them. During a time of self-isolation, pruning old apple trees is a great activity.
Those at Gathering Ground – a nonprofit on Washington Island with an orchard and vineyard that’s devoted to sustainable agriculture – had hoped to host an in-person workshop this spring but had to look for an alternative method. The next best thing was filming the tutorial to share the knowledge with a larger group. (Social distancing was practiced during filming.)
The online workshop is divided into 11 one- to four-minute videos arranged by topic, so both new and seasoned pruners can easily access the information they need. The topics range from when and why we should prune apple trees to tips for how to deal with abundant upright shoots and techniques for how to help large cuts heal better.
Gathering Ground would love to know if you were inspired to prune your apple trees this year or have questions for Casey. Send questions (with photos, if useful) to [email protected], or find Gathering Ground on Instagram or Facebook to share before-and-after photos of your apple trees.