Even those with the greenest thumbs may need some guidance when it comes to pruning trees. The University of California Cooperative Extension office is here to help again with its annual fruit tree pruning demonstrations on Dec. 12 and 13.

Starting at noon both days in the orchard of the cooperative's office, ad adviser Mohammad Yaghmour will show attendees how to trim back trees including apple, apricot, cherry and almond as well as grapevines. 

Kern County's beneficial climate allows residential planting of many deciduous fruit tree species. Unlike shade trees, deciduous fruit trees should be pruned every winter for optimum growth and yield. Pruning need not be complicated, but fruit trees are less forgiving than most shade tree species, and, if pruned incorrectly, the yield of fruit will be reduced or eliminated, and the life of the tree will be shortened.

Pruning diagrams or photographs in books or on the Internet may be helpful, but seeing pruning in three dimensions and being able to ask questions are benefits of the demonstrations.

The free events will take place at the office, 1031 S. Mt. Vernon Ave. To get there, take Highway 58 and exit at Mount Vernon, and proceed south for about three-quarters of a mile. Publications on pruning, fertilizer for fruit trees, and fruit tree varieties for the valley portion of Kern County will be available. 

For more information, call 868-6220.

John Karlik is an adviser for environmental horticulture/environmental science at the UC Cooperative Extension.

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