Thursday, 27 December 2012

Malgré la pluie...

 A reduced nectarine. Recognise the tool, on its new long handle Martine?

Despite the rain, which has been more or less constant since we returned from Australia, and is forecast to continue for days, if not weeks to come, there has been the occasional break in the weather. Sunday morning when I checked the Météo de France site it said, to my astonishment, that the afternoon would be sunny!

 These are Chasselas grapes for the table, so pruned much less severely than wine grapes.

I leapt at the chance and since it was indeed feebly sunny, I spent the afternoon in the orchard pruning. I've done the grapes and the big old nectarine by the potager gate. I don't really know what I'm doing with pruning fruit bearing plants, but the worst that can happen is that we miss out on a crop for one year I guess.

 These spindle berries are a bit past their best, but they brighten up a corner of the potager.

The grapes I aimed to reduce to 5 buds on spurs that looked like they were growing in a sensible direction. The nectarine needed to have some nuisance branches removed (too low over the gate) and a lot of weight taken off. It's a 20 year old tree, and I reduced the top by about half, by taking out branches that were duplicating one another or too low or too high. It's a work in progress, but I won't reduce it any more for this year. Maybe I'll tackle it again next year or the year after, once I've seen how it responds to this prune.


ladybird said...

Happy to see that you are making good use of your 'scie d'élagage' Bahco. C. will be pleased too ;) Martine

Pollygarter said...

The blackbirds have started to go at our spindle berries with a vengeance! It's that time of year.

Tim said...

Oi loiks the lichens on yar bench, missy! Arrrr! OooooArrr!

I think it would be advisable to put some goudron on the larger cut ends... to avoid fungal infection!!
And you should prune all stone fruit in the Spring to avoid "silverleaf"

At least your cuts should be clean... Sandvik make the best blades... have always used them on my bowsaws... and my Sandvik hacksaw is the best!!

Sandvik are Bahco... that new name is stupid! How can you cut anything with a fish!

Susan said...

Tim: Oh! I thought you pruned everything in the winter except cherries, which should be done in late summer. Is it just the apples and pears I should be tackling now?

Aussie in France said...

I need to set up a gardening almanach to know when to do what!

Tim said...

Basically... yes.
But all you really do need to do is take care of the hygiene at the site of pruning... hence the "goudron"... and really cherries should be done just after the blossom has set... like all stone fruit... late Summer is too late! They need to be pruned when the sap is rising strongly... by late summer, many have started to shut down... the job of reproduction is done... just look at the sad state some cherries are in by late Summer!!

All trees have been pruned at "the wrong time" in the past... and there are always different opinions on how much... what type... autumn... summer... spring... and on allotments... as many opinions as plot holders... when you get a prolonged concensus of opinion... then do it that way.
Pauline is the one to really ask... I've got all my fruit crop knowledge from her.

My knowledge is more around "crop" trees... ie: wood producers!! Although some 'rules' still apply.
No crossing branches for one... rubbing bark = possible/probable damage = site of fungal or bacterial infection.

And Fraussie Grouet... just get a gardening almanac from a tabac, bookshop or a garden centre.. saves time and are always a good read.

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