Bonafide Farm

The kindest cut?

April 12th, 2011 § 1


One thing I’d like to become more knowledgeable about before I die is tree cultivation. I’ve started by planting a few trees each year at Bonafide Farm, and you’ll find academic arborist texts on my bedside table. Hot, I know.

I planted a peach tree last year—or was it two years ago? I forget. Anyway, as I rationalized that it needed some time to get established, it had grown tall and spindly and leaned in a most unattractive way. I finally resigned myself to the idea that it was ready for obedience school. On the advice of a friend, photos of a local peach orchard, and a very thorough booklet from the Virginia Cooperative Extenstion, I gathered my instructions, tape measure, and loppers and headed out in between spring thunderstorms to do the deed.

At precisely 35″ up the trunk, I applied light pressure with my lopers and more than half of my still-blooming tree fell to the ground. It was a bit horrifying to make the cut, but I have to trust in my instructions that state that instead of a central leader, I want to develop a nice “upside down umbrella limb structure.”


I say we’re closer already. Only time will tell if this was indeed the right move, but at least I got rid of the annoying lean!

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