Friday, March 16, 2007

Fruit tree work party

Yesterday was so much fun...I got to meet a really great group of people who also love fruit trees, and have a 7 acre fruit garden in Mount Vernon, WA, it's called the , Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation. I actually found them on the Internet, and emailed about helping out, so I could learn more.
Wow, did I ever learn a lot, my head was swimming with information when I left. I learned about espaliers, and how they prune, and train them, one of the instructors was Kristan, and this is his specialty, he was very knowledgeable, and spent time teaching everyone. See picture below of him pruning one of the many espaliers. They use copper pipes to create forms like fans, and other interesting shapes, they've even spelled out the words 'WELCOME' with fruit trees... imagine that.

If you live in the area, and want to learn more about the exciting world of fruit trees, I highly recommend checking out this worthwhile organization. The display garden has 223 fruit trees, along with many more edibles, and exotic fruits. Many of the varieties that WSU offered to the Display Garden were selected as the best varieties for our Pacific NW climate. I got so many great ideas for planting cherry trees, espaliered in a line, short enough to pick, and throw a bird net over. Varieties that win taste tests, and the ones that are great for our wet climate. It is worth it to know the best varieties, and how to take care of them and prune them correctly if you desire an edible landscape.

I even learned about a technique called ringing, Kristan showed how to force a branch to grow where there wasn't one, you cut part way around the branch, and scrape away the bark, and a new growth comes forth,(see above picture). There is much to learn and explore and the techniques vary from person to person. I want to learn about grafting next, and Bill Davis said that he teaches classes around the area, I'm looking forward to taking a class, and learning how to create my own trees.


Crunchy Chicken said...

Wow, that sounds like a fantastic local resource. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the tip!

jewel said...

Definetly worth checking out. I just reposted about bees, and am planning to blog some more, I got off track with the business of spring planting, and fence building.