On February 3rd 2011 Adair Tree Care will be at the Alberta Children’s Hospital to prune some trees on site. The small orchard is part of the expansive “healing gardens” that make up the landscape around the building.
The gardens themselves are divided into seven sections or areas, each with their own focus or theme. Each area was designed for specific activities valuable for therapeutic benefits. They to give kids with a wide array of issues access to the beneficial effects of gardening and horticulture. A great idea to say the least. A description of each of the individual gardens can be found at the bottom of the services page of the children’s hospital website.
The Apple Trees
The Children’s Orchard is an area comprised of several rows of young apple trees. The site is fairly exposed but these trees seem to be fairing quite well compared to some of the others on the site. Although they are still fairly young, it is the perfect time to start pruning. At this time we can correct structural issues without causing large wounds to the trees. When trees are left longer before being pruned the branches removed are generally larger, which leads to bigger wounds on the tree, which increases the amount of energy required to close them over.
It is also the perfect time of year to prune fruit trees. As discussed in last week’s post the dormant season (winter) is the optimal time to prune most trees and shrubs. This is especially true for Apples. There are two reasons for this. The first is that because the tree moves energy into the roots, trunk and large limbs in the fall and winter, less energy is removed from the tree with each pruning cut. The second reason is that there are no diseases present to infest the tree after pruning. Pruning wounds can provide an entry point for disease. Although it is safe to prune at times through the summer months, spring is a time to avoid with regard to fruit tree pruning. Flowers and leaves take an enormous amount of the trees energy to produce.
Trees will be using all their available energy to produce flowers and leaves in the spring and do not need extra wounds from pruning to further tap their energy reserves. It is also generally very wet through the spring which aids in the spread of tree diseases. Pruning while the trees are dormant eliminates any risk of transferring the disease this way.
If you have any fruit trees that you think need pruning we would strongly suggest you contact an ISA Certified Arborist. They will be able to determine when is the best time to prune all your trees. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or come out and assess your yard. Feel free to contact us anytime.