KIMBERTON, Pa. — Caring for fruit trees means that you also have to prune them, but pruning can sometimes be intimidating, even for experienced growers. If you have a backyard orchard (or just a tree or two) and want to brush up on your pruning skills (or simply acquire some), come out to the farm and learn the basics from longtime North Star Orchard farm manager, Ike Kershner. Kershner has been growing and breeding fruit trees for over thirty years, beginning with apples but branching out to many different tree fruits, and can answer questions on a large variety of species.
During this three-hour workshop, Kershner will use the trees at North Star as his classroom, demonstrating appropriate winter pruning techniques on apples, pears, peaches, plums and grapes. The ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of different training techniques will be discussed, as well as specifics regarding the differences between tree species and other basic care issues. Participants are encouraged to come with their questions, ranging from rootstock to fruit bud.
Framework, first, then the thinning; lastly, see the fruit and how it grows.
— Holistic Orchard author Michael Phillips, describing his pruning mantra
North Star Orchard is 20 acres in size and grows over 350 different varieties of fruit. The farm works with multiple local CSAs in providing a fruit share for their members, and also sells at farmers markets. North Star is a recognized leader in its field. Farmers Lisa and Ike Kershner have been running North Star together from the farm’s beginning; their first experiment in plant breeding involved an apple tree grown from seed in their college apartment.
Spring is coming and the window to maximize winter pruning benefits is closing. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to train with a master in his field and learn skills you can apply this season for better yields and health. For more information, contact Aaron de Long at email@example.com. Event link: https://www.pasafarming.org/events/pasa-events/pasa-education-event-fruit-tree-pruning-primer
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture is one of the largest and most active sustainable agriculture organizations in the U.S. Through our SOIL Institute education programs, regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy and public outreach, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries each February. For more information, visit pasafarming.org.