Central Coast Chapter CRFG
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California Rare Fruit Growers – Central Coast Chapter

January 2019 Newsletter
by Lori Bright

Meeting: January 13, 2019

Large CRFG crowd in orchard watches Tom Spellman prune a fruit tree
Attendees watch and ask questions as Tom Spellman prunes a fruit tree in the CRFG Demonstration Orchard.
Our Yearly Pruning Meeting was a Great Success!

Tucker welcomed everybody. Wow, what a lot of bodies we were! We had oodles of non-members. (Hopefully some of these energetic people will join us and become members.)

Thanks to Manny and Dara for the upkeep in the CRFG Orchard. They had sanitizing buckets and tools all set up and ready for our excursion into the orchard.

Bob and Marv, thanks so much for sharpening pruners: you’re the best!

Art has old CRFG magazines cluttering up his garage. Get them now or forever hold your peace.

Dean Harrell is offering a Viticulture class through Cuesta College, North County class will run T/Th 9am – 11:30am. Beginning Jan 22, 2019. He has room for more students. Dean_Harrell@cuesta.edu

Heidi Burgess receives her CRFG scholarship check from Treasurer Dick Pottratz. Co-Chair Tucker Schmidt and Scholarship Program Committee Chair Joe Sabol join in congratulating her.
Roxy is running a Swap-O-Rama. All proceeds will go toward future CRFG scholarships. Contact Roxy. She will coordinate with you to get all your unwanted Garden Art, Outdoors Artistic pieces, Unblemished ceramic and Terra Cota pots, Nice Tools and Gardening Books. No charge for sharpening those Nice tools.

Thanks always to you Cal Poly for allowing us to use the Crop Science area for our events. Students had Owari Mandarins for sale. They were delicious.

Heidi Burgess claimed her scholarship check: congratulations Heidi!

Upcoming Events

The Big Event: CRFG Yearly Scion Exchange
February 16th (Third Saturday of the month). This will be open to the public.
We will have rootstock available; in our store we will have Buddy Tape, Goop, Pruning Knives and Fruit Tree Netting. We will have demonstrations on grafting techniques and more. Bring your clean scions in a ziplock bag with a wetted paper towel.
12:00 p.m.: Store opens and rootstock are on sale.
1:00 p.m.: Entry to Scion Exchange room for those bringing scions to share.
1:30 p.m.: Entry to Scion Exchange room for those not bringing scions.

March 9th, 2019 is our Annual Propagation Meeting at the Seven Sisters Garden.

Tom Spellman sune a fruit tree
Tom Spellman demonstrates how to control the height and shape of a tree.
Our Amazing Speaker this month was:
Tom Spellman... Wooo Hooo!

Great to have you, Tom!

Tom was concise in his delivery on Fruit Tree Pruning. He was keeping it simple, thus making pruning less scary for beginners. He wants everyone to look at their trees, really look at them, and observe them daily if possible.

What is your purpose in pruning?
  • Ornamental purposes
  • A functioning screen
  • More fruit
  • Less fruit
  • Size Control
  • Give Shade
What type of tree determines how to prune:
  • Apple/Pear
  • Peach/Nectarine
  • Apricot
  • Plum
Step back and get an over-all perspective.

Four Concepts:
  • Size Control - YOUR size
  • Grow trees adapted to your growing area
  • Plant trees that can give you successive harvests
  • Know your microclimate
Tools: Buy quality, keep them cleaned and oiled. When pruning, sanitize your pruners between trees. (On a potentially diseased tree, sanitize between cuts).

In the orchard Tom practiced what he preached, he kept it simple. We pruned peaches and nectarines. Many of our visiting pruners told us that they had a great time and now felt a sense of confidence when approaching their own fruit trees.

Tom’s Takeaway: Spend time with your trees, don’t be afraid to prune. ("Worst thing that could happen is it will grow back next year.") Ah, the wonder of growing things!

Les Ferrera helps answer questions about pruning fruit trees.
Dean Harrell helps answer questions about pruning fruit trees.