Yes! At long last, we are having a real-live meeting in Culver City! And to celebrate this return to semi-normalcy, Andrew Schiavone — the manager of the Westside branch of Bartlett Tree Experts — and Jeff Micka — their fruit tree expert — will be speaking to us on the planting and pruning and general care of our trees.
Jeff is a friend and colleague of our revered Tom Del Hotal, whom Tom taught and worked with on fruit tree pruning projects. Andrew started with Mellinger Tree Service as a climber in 2010, and worked closely with Carl Mellinger (who was the previous owner of this branch of Bartlett), to gain insight into Carl’s Shigo-esque and less is best approach to tree care. If you have a specific tree you find problematic, please zip your question or concern to Contact Us and we will pass it on to these kind and knowledgeable gentlemen.
Please note that our beloved MultiPurpose Room has been preempted by Culver City for April 9th, so we will be using the Garden Room which also has a patio, albeit much smaller. The easiest way to access the Garden Room is via the electric-door east of our normal entrance.
Also, your humble chair will try to do a better job of Zooming this meeting than I did our field trip to Deborah’s (hey, it was BRIGHT out there and I couldn’t see my phone screen); but since both our June and August meetings will have to be on Zoom — because the speakers are based in Northern California –, it would be really great to have as many folks as possible show up for Andrew and Jeff.
Until further notice, Culver City still requires masks and proof of vax.
Photo by Árpád Czapp on Unsplash
What a great meeting that was on Saturday! I am a little snowed under right now trying to get our Scion Exchange app working, but since I’m getting questions, I did want to put up links to the updated R. Sanford Martin “How to Prune Fruit Trees” that Tom worked on.
Despite Tom’s assurances we could find it anywhere, it seems you have to order it directly from the Walter Anderson Nursery down in San Diego here. I ordered my copy Saturday and it’s already shipped!
Also, for those of you who couldn’t write fast enough as Tom rattled off his successes in the Irvine Ranch high-chill apple experiment, you can see a Youtube of the 6th year harvest here.
I write pretty fast but then cannot read my own handwriting, so these are my best guesses of his favorites from the trial: Mutsu, Dixie Red Delight, King David, Lady Williams, Red Fuji, and Sundowner. If I got any of that wrong or forgot something, please let me know!
Note Tom was recommending low-N, high P, high K fertilizers for these apples once they reached bearing size. It does not mean you want low N for everything in your orchard. Someone mentioned in the Chat a GrowMore product that s/he felt would suit but I didn’t manage to copy the person’s name. GrowMore mostly sells to commercial growers so it would be interesting to know where their products are available to us layfolks. Since I am entirely organic and also mostly avoid animal-byproducts I find Peaceful Valley Farm Supply a reliable source for organic fertilizers and they even have a chart on their site showing the relative NPKs for their products..
Okay, so hopefully there will be no snow on the ground, but we are taking the opportunity of visiting a member’s relatively new orchard to discuss our various preparations for winter. Do you do dormant spraying? Do you remove the leaves from your trees in this most unseasonable of winters? How do you train the young trees you planted last bareroot season? How are you getting ready for the trees you will plant this year? How do you prepare your orchard for the (fingers crossed) winter rains? There will be plenty of time to tour the garden but also yak. Come with ideas!
We will start 2018 with a great Pruning Demonstration by WLA member Pieter Severynen, a professional arborist and landscape architect. Pieter is a California licensed landscape architect and ISA certified arborist. He has been working with fruit trees for over 40 years. He studied subtropical agriculture in the Netherlands, where he received his pruning diploma from the State Agricultural College in Deventer. He graduated in landscape architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. After a career in land planning with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, he set up his own landscape architect and consulting arborist office in Los Angeles.
Pieter’s company, Pieter Severynen Associates, specializes in the establishment and pruning of sustainable organic orchards and fruit trees, aiming for high yield and maximum enjoyment. His company provides two key services: 1) Arboriculture: consulting on trees and landscaping, and 2) Landscape Architecture: outdoor environment & garden design. Pieter provides on-site advice on selecting climate- appropriate trees and plants and keeping them healthy for a very long time, using minimum water and fertilizer, while keeping gardens sustainable with minimum impact on the environment.
Pieter has taught at UCLA Extension, written articles for various newsletters, and blogged “Tree of the Week” articles for the LA Times. He teaches classes in and publicly speaks on arboriculture, planning, environmental subjects, gardening, urban forestry, and fruit tree pruning and maintenance. He has been the Director of Planning and Design for North East Trees, a nonprofit Los Angeles environmental design/build firm that practices urban forestry, watershed rehabilitation, park design and community stewardship.
The demonstration will be hosted at the lovely home garden of member Sue Oppenheimer. Thank you in advance, Sue!
If you have trees, then you need to prune. If you need to prune, then you need to see Pieter’s demonstration! Bring any pruning questions you have because this is your chance to have them answered by a professional.