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Are you looking for more fruit on your trees this year? Try pruning.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –An essential strategy for producing tree fruits is yearly pruning during the dormant season. Proper pruning can increase fruit quality, reduce the occurrence of diseases, and improve the longevity of the tree, but many tree owners are apprehensive about the process. This winter, University of Illinois Extension is providing two workshops, with hands-on pruning experiences. The sessions will help owners make informed decisions on how to follow up with a yearly routine and exactly what limbs to prune.
The first session partners with Partridge Point Orchard (807 Partridge Point Road, Metamora, IL 61548)on location therefrom 1 to 3 p.m. onFriday,February 9.Nursery Manager and Owner, Shirley Blackburn,will show examples of pruned vs. unpruned trees, give tips for different types of trees, and guide you while you practice on an actual apple tree in her orchard.
The second session will be held at the Refuge Food Forest (779-799 E. Lincoln Street, Normal, IL 61761) from 1 to 3 p.m. on Thursday, February 22. Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator, Bill Davison, and Horticulture Educator Kelly Allsup will cover pruning and training young apple trees. The Refuge Food Forest installations feature a wide variety of apple trees to hone your skills.
Participants are encouraged to bring loppers and pruning shears if possible; limited quantities will be provided for use on site. This is an outdoor program. Dress appropriately to work outdoors and handle appropriate equipment. In the event of inclement weather, an alternate site or date will be provided.Registration is $10 per person for each location and you will find registration online at go.illinois.edu/RegisterLMW or by contacting the Extension office before event dates. For additional questions, please contact Extension program coordinator, Reid Young at ryoun@illinois.edu or (309) 663-8306.

Universityof Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please call 309-663-8306.