Friday, March 30, 2012

Crab Apple Training by Leslie Anne Charles

A rock used as a weight
I have a confession: I love to prune. I can't look at a tree without wishing I had my pruners with me, to cut this branch out or trim that water sprout off. I also must admit that I'm probably not very good at it. Yet. But . . . I think I'm getting better every year.

The chosen crab apple
A few years ago I was given a bunch of trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. They started out as fragile little things, so I wanted to give them a head start and plant them in my veggie garden. Unfortunately, they are still in my garden. The one I'm going to keep in the corner of the garden is the crab apple. Since it had many leaders and branches that overlapped each other, I did what I'm made for: pruning. The branches that are left make for a good structure, but all the branches aren't going as horizontal as I'd like. I read that you could train branches when they're young by weighting them down.

My thinking is that if I use rubber bands, they'd fall off in good time, just in case I forgot to take them off.
Supplies: rubber bands and rocks (both of which are abundant around us)

One week after weighting down three branches, only one branch still has a rock on it.
Maybe this one has too much weight, but only time will tell.

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