Restorative Pruning Workshop
Last September a group of us gathered the apples from the orchard at IVC as part of our juicing weekend. Fortunately the HICOP group have been given the opportunity to take on the responsibility of care and maintenance of these lovely 50 year old Lord Lambourne trees.
On Saturday 31st March we gathered to start our first task of restorative pruning. Under the expert guidance of Bob Lever from EEAOP (East of England Apple and Orchard Project) 10 of us decked out in helmets, protective glasses, with long handled saws and loppers set out on a mission to tend these trees.
There was quite a lot of diseased and dead wood which needed removing and then our intent was to reduce the growth by 20%. The trees had not been pruned for some time so Bob advised us that we needed to be thinking of a long term pruning plan. It was amazing team work and we achieved a lot in 3 hours including clearing away all the pruned wood.
The trees looked much better afterwards and may this work support a great cropping of delicious apples once again. We plan to carry out the pruning again next winter, aiming to open up the centre of the trees and reduce the overcrowding.
We had a lovely shared lunch afterwards and more time to ask Bob about our trees, and he then came to look at the proposed site of our community orchard. Bob thought it was a great site and the protection from the WI Woods would be most beneficial. It was good fun and we learnt so much that will be so valuable for future times.