Hot Summertime Pruning

It is really hot today on our homestead in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia – 97 degrees!

Taking a break under the shade of the apple trees in the orchard is a relief from the harsh sunlight. It is high noon and even the birds are quiet, resting among the branches.

It is hard to get motivated in this kind of blistering hot and humid weather. But there is work to be done regardless of the heat.

Normally, I try to avoid the worst of the midday heat. I work in the morning, then take a break during the middle of the day, and then work again in the late afternoon and evening. But I am behind on my summer pruning, so today I'm out in the midday sun pruning branches.

Pruning apple trees occurs in both the Wintertime and Summertime. The trees react in different ways to being pruned in the winter or in the Summer.

Summer pruning should be complete by the middle of August at the latest, so that the trees can heal before the first frost of Winter. If they don't have time to heal over the pruning cuts, the cold will damage the branches.

So, here I am in the noonday sun pruning apple trees. I drink lots of water to stay hydrated – and I indulge in a glass or two of hard cider just to keep my spirits up!

There is no way to avoid hot summer pruning or cold winter pruning. Oh Well, that's the life of a friendly neighborhood vinegar maker. And I wouldn't trade it for anything!