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Pruning the apple trees

This photo was taken last week when the weather was colder. Most of the apple trees needed to be pruned. The trees don’t show up very well in the photo, but they’re there. I have 10 apple trees, semi-dwarf, planted in the fall of 2008. The tallest of these trees is now over eight feet. I’m hoping I might even get an apple or two this year.

Two of my apple trees — both Arkansas blacks — died last summer. I replaced them with two two-year-old Arkansas black trees from the same nursery — Century Farm Orchards. Because Arkansas blacks are my favorite apples, I requested full-size trees, rather than semi-dwarfs, for the new trees. In response, David Vernon, the orchardist, taught me something new. He said that I can make the semi-dwarf trees into full-size apple trees by planting the trees deeper, with the graft underground. Then, he says, roots will grow from the part of the tree above the graft onto the semi-dwarf root stock, thus producing a full-size tree.

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