This morning, I headed to Fernwood to take part in a workshop on fruit tree pruning. The timing was right and the cost was attractive ($10 to cover the cost of the facilitator) so I had signed up as soon as I heard about it.
The workshop was put together by the Lifecycles Fruit Tree project with the idea of building a group of people with the skills needed to prune and care for the trees harvested by the project volunteers. I have always wanted to volunteer with the project but haven't been able to squeeze time out of my schedule to do so. I'm on their email list now, though... so we'll see what comes of it.
In the meantime I learned a lot today -- including the titular information about crotches (where two branches meet; a bad crotch is less than a 45° angle as it encourages bark overgrowth as well as rot from leaves and water and other gunk that may gather there.) I also realized why the tree at the townhouse was such a mess -- I never paid attention to when I was pruning or where, exactly. Oh well, it's not my tree anymore.
So, armed with this new knowledge, I had a look at the trees in our yard this afternoon. The mature apple tree looks to be well pruned and shaped; it'll need a little maintenance, but not much. The plum tree looks like someone pruned it with good intentions but no follow-up. It's going to take a lot of work. The two mid-size apple trees are a mess. I don't think anyone ever laid a hand on them. Ditto with the dwarf trees but they'll be easier to deal with. The coming weeks will be busy, that's for sure.
First though, we are off to Las Vegas -- in just four days! I can't believe it! I booked our seats on Friday (after almost an hour on hold with the uber-friendly WestJet owners/staff) and managed to find all of our passports. We bought three matching red carry-on bags today and now I am making mental lists of what exactly to pack. In fact, there's lots of lists. Lists of things we want to see and do, lists of things we might want to buy, lists of things we have to do before we leave, and a little list for those who will be checking in on our cat.
Basically, there's still a lot to be decided but we did decide not to take any of our computers and our silly Virgin Mobile phones won't work in the U.S. -- there's no roaming contracts -- so we'll be digitally out of touch for four days.