Diary of a Community Orchard 12/5/18: Pruning, Mulching & Strimming

If you go down to the Orchard every second Saturday of the month from 10am to 12pm, you’ll see the Thyme ‘n’ Space gardening group hard at work maintaining the Orchard.

This month’s tasks involved: strimming around the trees, mulching them with our lovely guinea-pig compost and pruning the “prunus” trees – cherry, plums and damsons.

Lots of learning about how to prune happened, with the three letter acronyms being used to help:

  • DDD – Dead, dying, diseased. Prune anything with any of these symptoms.
  • CAC – Clustering, Acute (angles), Crossing. Prune any branches with these.

Anything else involved trimming back to 2/3 of the branches.

The aim? To try and get a “goblet” shaped tree with plenty of air flowing through the branches, thus reducing the potential for diseases caused by poor air circulation. That and get some good, healthy head space in the great outdoors, as well as getting to know new people in the area.


The Orchard’s now looking wonderful and the trees which we’ve pruned may look smaller, but they’ll quickly grow back – but in a much healthier way.

Lesson learned: Sometimes in life we have to prune away things which sap our energy and prevent us keeping the main thing the main thing. It can be quite disconcerting at times, even traumatic, to see them go, but it’s part of maintaining ourselves in a healthy way.

Thanks to everyone who came along and helped out – you’re all amazing!


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