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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Calling for Spring!

* Gala  apple tree * photo by Suzanne *  Late February 2013

Hello dear readers!  Here we are dancing into early March with Spring around the corner!  I'm here to tell you, it's time to get busy with garden Spring clean up, and, pruning projects.  I don't know about you, but just thinking about all that needs to be done, makes my head spin!  UGH!!!

*** Well, anyway ***

Why are we here today?  We're going to prune my Gala apple tree that my husband Karo planted a few years ago.  If you saw my previous post, "A Sweet Gala Tribute", from October 3, 2016,  you know that now is the time to prune!  According to my research, you should prune these trees in late winter, or very early spring.  Well, folks-we've got a little of both going on right now!

note: The featured post on my sidebar is "A Sweet Gala Tribute" if you would like to read it.

*** I'll run through a little history first to bring us up to speed! ***

The first photo above is the little tree in late February of 2013.  I believe it was sometime in 2011 or 2012, as Karo was eating a Gala apple, he discovered a tiny root on one of the seeds in the core.  He planted the seed in a coffee can at first, then, later we potted it to see if it would continue to grow.   Below is this tree in the same pot, just a little over a year later.  See how it has grown!
* Gala apple tree * photo by Suzanne * April 24, 2014

Finally, I am able to convince Karo that it should be planted in the ground!
* photo by Suzanne * April 24, 2014

Karo staked it to an old broomstick handle, or a rake!

***  Now, look at the tree!  ***  This is late September 2016

I didn't know if the tree should be pruned or not, so I looked up the care of Gala apple trees, and did come across some suggested pruning tips.

a.  Suckers
b.  Stubs or broken branches
c.  downward growing branches
d.  rubbing or criss-crossing branches
e.  upward or interior branches
f.  competing leaders
g.  narrow crotches
h.  whorls

The above diagram was very helpful to me, I HOPE!!!
  Here is my tree after winter's winds and cooler temperatures "ravaged" its appearance!  The leaves turn an ugly dried brown, but not all of them will fall off the tree.
  It has quite a dead appearance, doesn't it?

* photo by Suzanne * February 28, 2017

* photo February 28, 2017

Here is the Gala after my "butcher", I mean, pruning job!  And, you can see the debris on the ground that I took from the tree.  Gosh, I hope I didn't mess it up!  Well, time will tell.

I noticed some nubs on the branches, and my heart was sinking as I pruned, AAGH!  This tree has never blossomed in the Spring, and I have hopes that it will this year.  Some of the other trees in the area are already blooming, however, these nubs could be leaf buds.  And, it might be a good idea to find some fruit tree nutrition to help boost it along.

The photo is out of focus, but, maybe you can see the nubs I'm speaking of.
I circled one of them.

* photo by Suzanne * February 28, 2017

Have any of you ever pruned an apple tree?  We had several established apple trees on a lot of our property in Kansas as I was growing up, but, my parents didn't prune them.   They were already producing apples and blossoms when we moved to that residence.  I guess I am a bit skeptical, but my fingers are crossed that this pruning will yield more growth, green leaves (again), and possibly some blossoms, followed by day!

I hope you enjoyed today's juicy program, and if any of you has an apple tree small enough to prune, maybe the tips I mentioned will help you out some.  If my tree blossoms or starts exhibiting some leaf growth, I will send a photo and keep you all updated.

In the meantime I will thank:
Yahoo Images (for the diagram and pruning tips)
For the cute animations, I am grateful to

All photos of the apple tree were taken by me (property of Suzanne Prickett)

*** Thank you so much for coming by today.  Please stop in if you have time, and say hello.  I would love to hear from you anytime! ***

"Cling, Swing, Spring, sing,
Swing up into the apple tree."
~T S Eliot

Sending blessings to you all * Be safe * Love and Laugh a lot!
  Hi Mom!  


  1. Gosh, Suzanne! Good job I tuned into my reading list just now - I keep forgetting to do that! - because there you were, with your lovely little Apple Tree that Karo planted. I do hope that your pruning helps the tree to grow and flourish n the year ahead. Yes, lots to be done at this time of the year. Sometimes that overwhelms me a bit, but I'm learning to just concentrate on one area at a time, rather than looking at the bigger picture! Onwards and upwards 😊

    1. Well Thisisme...fancy meeting you here, on a lovely March day! We opened the day with temperatures in the 40's, but it has warmed up some this afternoon with lovely blue skies.

      I'm with you...there is so much to do outside, but it is best to work on one area at a time, even if it is not as fun as just playing with, and admiring the beautiful new blooms.
      I am so glad you came by...thank you for stopping in and giving positive encouragement-I should be looking "upward" at the apple tree in a few months! Take care, now! ♥

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  3. Hi, Suzanne!

    I remember your previous post and the story of how this Gala apple tree came to be. That along with the picture of Karo planting the seedling in the ground brought a tear to my eye. Isn't it incredible what can come of a tiny seed if given the right care? I don't have any experience pruning apple trees, but I am confident that you have good instincts and that your pruning technique will someday bear fruit - literally. As I'm sure you know, trees and shrubs that look bare and dead as a doornail in winter can come alive and grow vigorously as the warmer seasons unfold. If all goes well, how many years do you think it will take for your tree to start producing apples? Just think, someday Scootie, perhaps as a teenager, might eat one of the apples from that tree, discover inside it a seed with a root, plant it, and begin the amazing cycle all over again. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I hope you will keep us updated with pictures of your apple tree's progress during the growing season. I enjoyed seeing that picture of you and Scootie standing next to the tree last fall.

    I hope you are having a wonderful week, dear friend Suzanne. Take good care of yourself. I will be connecting with you again soon!

    1. Good afternoon, Shady!

      You know, I almost lost that picture of Karo planting the tree when my laptop crashed. I hadn't printed the photo, and didn't have it when I did the first story. Later, I took the laptop to the Geek Patrol and they were able to read the hard drive and transfer all of my lost pictures onto a newer PC that I have. It took me a while to get through the download, but I've been able to get some of it re-organized and found the picture of Karo actually planting the tree. How funny...he didn't want me to use the picture, but, it tells the story!

      I will definitely keep an update coming on the tree. I have never raised a fruit tree from seedling, so this has been a good learning project. One source says it can take between 2 and 4 years for apple trees to start producing fruit. On one Gala apple tree site, it says that the Gala trees start producing earlier than most other types of apples! I would be happy to get some blossoms!

      It has been a cold week so far, Shady, but with sunny afternoons and cool breezes. No rain has come my way lately, but no complaints so far.

      Thank you so much for coming by today, and for leaving your upbeat thoughts and comments. I am having a busy week so far, but, I guess that's better than feeling bored and useless. There is so much to do these days!

      So, have great end of week...take care, Shady! ♫♫♫

  4. Hi there Suzanne, lovely to see your post and I too remember the history of your apple tree.

    So glad you were able to get the photo back, such a precious one and thank you for sharing it with us... those computer people certainly know their stuff eh! Good on them.

    Well I've just shown my hubby your photo of the nubs and, while they're a bit hard to see clearly, he feels that if the nubs are thick and kind of juicy looking, they're likely to be fruit, or if they're thin, they'll be more branches. He doesn't grow Galas but has about 5 varieties in his orchard.
    As regards pruning, he keeps his espaliered so they undergo heavy pruning to keep them well trained... the trees don't suffer, in fact, the heavier pruned - the more fruit they produce. I've seen him thin out small apples from a bunch so as to give the remaining ones room to grow!

    Hope that's a bit of a help - keep us posted on progress, it will be interesting :D)

    Loved your photos too, especially you and Scootie.

    Have a really nice weekend and will catch you soon. Hugs xx

    1. Hi Sue, I was also grateful to find that photo even though Karo didn't want me to show it! Don't think he would really mind. As he became more ill, he didn't want any pictures of him taken. I have one or two of him sitting in his chair and on the porch, but will keep them private for the family.

      The little nubs on the tree are kind of thick and furry. It almost looks as though they might be blossoms. My mother said to lightly spray the branches now with a little dish soap and water from a spray bottle. She says that times there are worms in the blooms that make their way into the apples that come along. I am glad to know that you can prune heavier. I was worried that I may have pruned too much, but I see there are some branches that could have been cut more.

      Thank you for coming by, and I really appreciate MD's input and advice. I will let you know how the tree progresses. Have a very good weekend, Sue! oxox

  5. Hello, Suzanne. It is neat seeing the progress of your apple tree over time. I hope it survived the winter. Spring is coming, I am looking forward to some colors back in Maryland soon. Florida is already having their spring now, the blossoms and flowers are all over. I love the cute Eliot quote. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi Eileen. I think the apple tree survived the winter, but, it doesn't leaf out early in the spring like most trees. I guess I will find out a little later. Your Florida pictures are so colorful and the lakes are so pretty! Several times I have spotted what I believe to be a yellow-winged Blackbird in my yard. They only come around to the bird feeders early in the morning. I have tried to be still and watch for them, but they really take off when they see me. They are a very pretty bird...this is the first year I've noticed them. Thank you for coming by, I'm glad you like the Eliot quote. Have a wonderful weekend!


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