03-23 OUTDOORS Pruning

UNH Extension will help backyard growers get ready for the spring with a series of 14 live pruning demonstrations across New Hampshire in March and April. (Courtesy photo)

DURHAM — UNH Extension will help backyard growers get ready for the spring with a series of 14 live pruning demonstrations across New Hampshire in March and April. Pruning is one of the most important tasks for home fruit growers and UNH Extension experts are ready to help the community improve pruning skills. 

“In the spring, questions about pruning fruit trees, small fruits, and ornamental trees and shrubs are some of the most common calls we receive,” said Nate Bernitz, coordinator of the UNH Extension Infoline. “These demonstrations are a great way to bring expert pruning knowledge directly to home fruit growers.” 

Participants can choose demonstrations that match their backyard crop. Each demonstration will focus on specific fruit varieties; some demonstrations will focus on ornamental trees and shrubs. Each session will include a live demonstration of pruning techniques by UNH Extension experts, as well as advice on appropriate tools, tree fruit fertility and pest control.

“Our spring pruning demonstrations are perfect for novice gardeners and experienced home growers looking for a refresher,” said Jeremy DeLisle, fruit and vegetable production field specialist with UNH Extension in Merrimack County. “Good pruning keeps trees healthy and productive — and it’s easier to learn than home growers realize. 

Demonstrations take place outdoors, and a $5 donation is suggested. Pruning demonstrations are scheduled as follows

Saturday, March 23 in Canterbury, for mature apple trees

Saturday, March 30 in Merrimack, for apples, pears, sour cherries, peaches, highbush blueberries, and grapevines

Wednesday, April 3 in Fremont, for blueberries

Friday, April 5 in Hollis, for grapevines

Tuesday, April 9 in Bath, for apples and pears

Wednesday, April 10 in Durham, for blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and grapevines

Wednesday, April 10 in Concord, for ornamental trees and shrubs

Wednesday, April 10 in Sanbornton, for blueberries and raspberries

Saturday, April 13 in Hooksett, for training young tree fruit, blueberries, raspberries and grapevines

Saturday, April 13 in Eaton Center, for blueberries and raspberries

Monday, April 15 in Peterborough, for apples and crabapples for wildlife, peaches, and pears

Saturday, April 20 in Plainfield, for blueberries, raspberries, and apples

Saturday, April 27 in Durham, for ornamental trees and shrubs

Saturday, April 27 in Lancaster, for blueberries and raspberries

Two tree fruit grafting workshops are also scheduled for Saturday, April 20 in Tuftonboro and Tuesday, April 23 in Goffstown. These workshops cost $25 per person or $40 per couple for materials, and each participant will go home with two grafted apple trees. 

Visit bit.ly/PruningDemos for details about pruning demonstrations. Contact the UNH Extension Infoline at 877-EXT-GROW, or answers@unh.edu for more information.

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