Monday, March 18, 2013

Lloyd Wildlife Management Area

Virginia Bluebells emerging
Nature Recycling

Tulip Popular

A group of forest enthusiasts and I visited the old growth forest in Grant county last last week.  This came about because of a discussion a group of us had after a Forestry Webinar series a couple of years ago.  We were interested in seeing what forest looked like that contained really large species.  Dr. Tom Barnes suggested we go to Lloyds Wildlife Management Area because of its close proximity and its collection of really large and diverse population of trees.  He was right there were some impressive trees on the property.  It was apparent however that the forest had taken a rather big setback as a result of the ice  storm a few years back.  The property is about 1100 acres and has a marked trail that loops through the woods. 

On that note now is the time to begin planning those spring wildflower walks.  We noticed a number of tiny wildflowers flourishing in the woodlands at this early part of the season.   Always look down when your not looking up in the woodlands,there is a lot you can miss when you're missing something else.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pruning Fruit Trees

Young Apple Before Pruning
One of the more popular posts on this blog is the one dealing with fruit tree pruning.  Nothing beats a handson training when learning the trade.  To that point Dave Kessler, ag agent for Marion County, has organized a fruit tree pruning demonstration for March 22nd in Marion County.  Call the Marion County Extension office at (270) 692-242 for times locations and details. 

General rules when it comes to any pruning are as follows:
  • Start by removing any damaged branches
  • Next remove anything that crosses another branch
  • Young Apple After Pruning
  • Now remove all water sprouts (fast growing straight up branches) and the majority of the interior small branches
  • Finally you will make cuts that increase air flow, incrase spacing for future hanging fruit and sunlight penetration and overall form. 
  • An apple, and pear will be pruned to a central leader, while a peach, plum, cherry, and others will be more open and vase shaped.