I have been putting off the fruit tree pruning for as long as I could but the time has come to get to the task of nipping off the water sprouts (some more than an inch through and six feet long) along with the extra growth inside the tree.
One by one, each tree with need to be thinned out so fruit can grow while having good air flow through the branches. An orchard specialist once described it to me as a good trimming job of being able to throw a baseball through the winter-bare branches without hitting any limbs.
My saw on a stick (this is the new one that my sis and bro-in-law gifted me when they heard I wore out my old one) does a spectacular job on the trees that are nearly 100 years old with the big, gnarled growth bumps that sprout huge amounts of new growth each year.
The biggest part of the pruning is the cleanup of all the trimmed out branches. All the different lengths and sizes makes them hard to pick up and remove. The pieces need to be removed from below the trees so the grass can be mowed and to keep from harboring rot and fungus around the base of the tree.
It will take me the better part of a month to get to all the trees even with the help of the rest of the family. More than the work itself, the distractions take up a lot of time. The county road is near and I have to keep an eye on the neighbors as they drive by, and googly-eye the log trucks (counting the loads and noting the species keeps me in touch with what the locals are working on), and watching the clouds and waving as people beep their horn, and noticing the flocks of Canada geese as they begin to make their way back to the area.
With all the ogling that goes on, it takes quite a while to complete the orchard of fruit trees and well worth the time sitting in the trees.