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January 25, 1999

UCSC offers fruit-tree pruning workshop

By Jennifer McNulty

Fruit tree expert Jim Nelson will offer you all the tips you need to prune your fruit trees successfully at a three-hour pruning workshop on Saturday, January 30, from 9 a.m. to noon. The class will be held at the Louise Cain Gatehouse on the UCSC Farm.

Proper pruning will improve the health, appearance, and productivity of your fruit trees. Nelson, who managed the UCSC Farm for 12 years and now runs two organic farms for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, will cover numerous types of trees and vines, including apple, pear, peach, persimmon, kiwi, and grape.

"I always tell people that you've got to prune with a purpose," said Nelson. "You have to know why you're pruning, whether it's to change the look of the tree or the fruit productivity, or something else. You have to know what you're trying to achieve."

Nelson will give a talk and then demonstrate pruning techniques that are useful for backyard gardeners. He'll discuss pruning as part of the overall organic management of fruit trees and will field questions from participants. Key tips on the proper timing of pruning and how pruning can be used in tandem with other management techniques to fight disease will also be offered.

The Louise Cain Gatehouse is located 1/4 mile up the gravel road above the Blacksmith Shop; free public parking is available across the street from the Blacksmith Shop in the Physical Plant parking lot.

Fees for the workshop, which are payable the day of the class, are $10, or $5 for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothes; heavy rain cancels the event. For more information, call (831) 459-3248.

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