under ripe blackberries and pomme fruit

BLOOMINGTON, IL – University of Illinois Extension is hosting two sessions for backyard gardeners on how to grow and care for fruits at The Refuge Food Forest in Normal, an outdoor, hands-on classroom. One session will focus on pruning and training apple trees, the other on pruning brambles like raspberries and blackberries.

Shirley Blackburn, owner of Partridge Point Orchard in Metamora, will demonstrate how to plant, prune and train young apple trees. Yearly pruning during the dormant season and training the direction of limb growth can increase fruit quality, reduce the occurrence of diseases, and improve the longevity of the tree.

Join us Saturday, February 8, at 12:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Bloomington for a lecture, followed by a trip to the food forest for a hands-on demonstration. Find specific event details and registration at go.illinois.edu/LMWEvents under February 8 or by contacting the Extension office at (309) 663-8306.

Kelly Allsup, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, will demonstrate planting, pruning and caring for brambles in a second workshop in February. Most varieties of blackberries and raspberries need to be selectively pruned to ensure healthy growth, reduced the occurrence of diseases and ensure lots of berries. Some require rejuvenation (cutting them to the ground) each season.

Learn more on Saturday, February 29, at 12:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Bloomington for a lecture, followed by a trip to the food forest for a hands-on demonstration. Find specific event details and registration at go.illinois.edu/LMWEvents under February 29 or by contacting the Extension office at (309) 663-8306.