Driving around Londonderry, you would think that the orchard workers have little to do this time of year. No fruit on the trees, no spray work to be done. The mice are all snug under the blanket of snow. The pumpkin fields were “put to sleep” with a cover of annual grass that will be plowed under come spring in Londonderry.
Nothing to do except for one thing; trim thousands, tens of thousands, of branches, twigs, limbs, water sprouts and suckers from the apple trees in the orchard. Apple trees do not care for themselves, to see a great example of this drive by the old orchard on the west side of Gilcreast Road across from where the Reverend Morrison house once stood. Now the orchards trees at Woodmont. The trees become snarled and resemble briers and brambles more than they do the majestic fruit producers we know they can be.
Apples need light and air circulation to grow large and clean skinned. By opening up the tree, these changes will stimulate growth and health of the fruit as it develops later this year. Thank you gentlemen, without you we would have no fine Londonderry fall fruit.