Vermont's Permaculture Institute
Tag Archives: organic orchard care
Hands on- Fruit and Nut Tree Pruning
A day long exploration of the science and practice of ecological tree crop management for diverse yields.
Willow Crossing Farm
Sunday, MARCH 15
(Please note- new date!)
10 am – 4 pm
Join VT’s Master Horticulturalist Zach Leonard and Tree Farmer Keith Morris for a day of hands-on practice with fruit and nut tree pruning, in a diverse permaculture forest garden setting. Spend the morning in the large yurt learning the science and ecology of how trees lose limbs and ‘heal’, and explore the deep traditions of how humans beings observe and interact with this phenomenon.
We’ll synthesize a variety of pruning ideas, strategies, and techniques to help you develop your own philosophy, understanding, and confidence to go out and work with trees in your landscape in a regenerative and yielding way. After lunch and some hot cider we’ll go outside to explore one of VT’s oldest permaculture designed food forests- a reforestation of old pasture and hayfield in the floodplain of the Lamoille River. We’ll briefly tour ‘Productive Buffers’, wildlife corridors, and stop to work in zones of Plums, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Berries, Vines, Hazelnuts, Walnuts, and more- driven by the group’s interest, and discussing pruning techniques for trees both young and old.
We’ll look at and evaluate previous years of pruning decisions and ensuing consequences, and explore some natural tree injuries and healing responses, helping participants to better understand the implications of our pruning decisions over varying periods of time.
We’ll finish the day practicing with different tools to cut wood cleanly- with an eye towards maximizing production, fruit quality, ease of future maintenance, and minimizing pest and disease pressure. We’ll also set the stage for top-working, multi-variety grafting, species changes (i.e.. Peaches on Plum roots), and other forms of propagation, in preparation for our March 21 Grafting Workshop and Scionwood Exchange.
We’ll also prune mature, bearing Hazelnuts and manage black locust, walnut, butternut/ buartnut, pecans, and more for nuts, firewood, high-value lumber, succession, aesthetics, and other long-term aims.
We’ll pass around, demonstrate, and allow you to trial favorite tools, including pruners, saws, pole saws, etc.; speak to their selection and maintenance, and discuss hygienic practices to promote orchard health and reduce cross-contamination.
This workshop kicks off our series for 2015!
Please enter your email in the box on the right hand side of the page, or ‘like’ us on Facebook to get the calendar and details for our other offerings such as: fruit tree grafting (March 21), nursery plant sale, compost toilet design/ build workshop, natural beekeeping workshop, nut production, diverse understory planting, spring development for gravity fed irrigation, natural building, compost heat, season extension, earth oven construction, stone masonry, and more. Our Plum Flower Festival and Nursery Plant Sale is scheduled for May 3.
Our 2015 Permaculture Design Certification Course will be offered June 20- July 2 OR July 19- 31, and they are filling quickly.
We have full scholarships available to income-elligible Vermont State residents, and are presently fundraising for gender and diversity leadership scholarships for out of state residents- please be in touch if you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution.
Applications for our Advanced Permaculture Design / Build /Grow / Teach internship, and APDC guided portfolio development are accepted on a rolling basis.
Event is $60 suggested donation/ sliding scale, including warm or cold cider during lunch and a round of hard cider tasting (21 and over) afterwards. No one will be refused for lack of funds.
*We are looking for photographers or videographers to help document the event, or create a short educational video.*
Please pre-register, and dress to spend the day outdoors.
We’ll need your email address if you’re planning on coming because the weather will determine where we’ll have people park. Feel free to bring your *clean, sterile, and sharp* pruners and saws.
Zach Leonard is a master horticulturalist and was farm manager of Elmore Roots Nursery for over a decade. He and his family have created High Hopes Farm, a diverse, off-grid homestead, where they preserve heirloom apples, sheep, and more. He runs High Hopes Tree Care, Vermont’s most experienced orchard restoration and maintenance service specializing in Organic Management.
Keith Morris has been collecting and experimenting with rare fruit and nut trees for 14 years, and is professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont. He has worked to help create resilient, diverse, socially just, and economically viable food systems around the world since 1996. Please spread the word to potentially interested friends and networks. Thank you for your support of our work!
Keith and Crew
Willow Crossing Farm
You can view some photos from last years event and share this via social media HERE.