Late February snow flurries fell gently on the Haven’s small orchard, but the activity surrounding the trees was far from dormant. Eight eager gardeners were deepening their pruning skills with none other than the Gardening Guy, Henry Homeyer. Buckets, tarps, hand pruners, loppers, and pruning saws were all in sight, as volunteer gardeners practiced their hands-on skills just moments after Henry’s pruning presentation. Gardeners felt well equipped using Henry’s eight steps to pruning trees to perfection, and the Haven’s apple trees benefited from their studious attention.
Why prune apple trees in February? A common practice in New England, late winter pruning makes way for a burst of new growth, good fruit, a safe and structurally sound tree, as well as something beautiful to look at from spring to fall. These attributes are not only valuable aesthetically, they help us carry out our vision “to create a community where people find hope and discover possibility.”
In addition to beautiful flowers and mouthwatering, organic produce, the Haven has 18 fruit trees on our campus, along with various fruit and nut shrubs and bushes. Having a bright and beautiful campus is our first message about both safety and welcome. The Haven’s garden volunteers bring their passion, skills, and years of experience to our gardens. They steward our campus both visually and agriculturally. Pruning is just one aspect of maintaining our thriving campus, and we were thrilled to host this important workshop for our valuable garden volunteers, and to welcome Henry Homeyer’s experience, expertise and mentoring on a snowy day in late February.