My husband and I planted two apple trees the year we moved into our farmhouse. That was the first and only year that we’ve gotten any apples. We haven’t even seen a blossom since. We drive past our neighbor’s trees loaded with fruit and wonder what we can do.
Our first step has been to install fences. We’ve worked hard to keep the grazing deer from completely obliterating the small trees. The next step was to attend a tree-pruning workshop.
Adirondack arborist Peter Landau of Northeast Arboricultural Associates has been conducting free fruit tree pruning workshops for the past six years. I was able to attend an event last year at Heaven Hill in Lake Placid with the hopes of finally getting some Macoun and Honeycrisp apples.
“I try to go to different places each year,” says Landau. “ I choose to help organizations that do a lot for the community, like Heaven Hill, and help them out. This year I’ll be going to Sugar House Creamery.”
With over 36 years of experience Landau wants to share the information that he is most passionate about, proper tree care. He uses techniques he’s learned to maintain the trees holistically, without chemicals. Workshop participants receive a pruning handout and Landau starts with some tree basics.
“I want people to know how to care for their own trees and not just their fruit trees,” says Landau. “People will learn a bit about how trees survive, branch architecture and what makes a strong tree. We’ll cover ways to reduce disease from insects.”
Landau realizes it’s a huge topic to cover in one workshop. He feels he barely touches the surface so encourages people to ask questions regarding any of their trees.
“I love trees and will talk about them with anyone,” says Landau. “Doing these workshops is my way of giving back to a community that has done so much. I want to just share what I know.”
During my workshop Landau pointed out some things for me to do like providing a strong framework for my young trees as well as allowing adequate light and ventilation. We’ll see what the fall harvest will bring.
The 6th annual fruit tree-pruning workshop will start at 10:30 am on April 4 at Sugar House Creamery, 18 Sugar House Way, Upper Jay. Please call 845-706-TREE to register, just to give Landau an idea of how many handouts to reproduce.
Photo of Heaven Hill Fruit Tree workshop by Diane Chase.