The first sign of spring around Martin’s is not the chirping of robins or early shoots pushing their way through the soil. It’s the arrival of our team of skill orchard workers, and the commencement of their tireless efforts to give our orchards their annual “haircut”.
Pruning is an essential part of orchard management and is best done while the apple trees are still dormant. Removing significant portions of each branch with long shears (called loppers); the pruning will open up the tree canopy to sunlight and air circulation. The pruning will promote fruit production and maintain the tree’s overall health, greatly contributing to a successful harvest each year.
Our orchard teams are trained experts. Trees require different levels of pruning at different ages. In the first few years, the tree needs to get established, so pruning young trees is generally limited to removing dead, injured or diseased branches. By their third year of growth, heavier pruning is required, shaping the tree and helping it be a strong support for the weight of the apples. Knowing exactly where to cut, how much to cut and how often is a real art form and takes an eye for detail. Each branch will be home to the vegetative buds that will form leaves and branches and fruiting buds that in turn create the blossoms and fruit. Care is needed to leave the appropriate amount of buds at a critical time.
We’re happy that our fantastic crew is able to return year after year to care for our trees. Spring is a welcome time in the orchard as is the return of our crews who are truly an indispensable part of the Martin’s extended family.