Learn how to prune fruit and almond trees as well as grapevines during demonstrations onJan. 7 and 8 at the orchard of the UC Cooperative Extension office on Mount Vernon Avenue.

All are invited to the annual fruit tree pruning demonstrations next week at the UC Cooperative Extension office.

Led by Mohammad Yaghmour, the free demonstrations on Tuesday and Wednesday will cover apple, apricot, cherry and almond trees as well as tips on how to prune grapevines.

The beneficial climate of Kern County allows residential planting of many deciduous fruit tree species. Unlike shade trees, deciduous fruit trees should be pruned every year in 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.

Demonstrations will begin at noon on Tuesday and Wednesday in the orchard at the UC Cooperative Extension office, 1031 S. Mount Vernon Ave.

To reach the UCCE office and orchard, take Highway 58 east and exit at Mount Vernon, and then 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. There is no charge for attendance, nor is pre-registration required.

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

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