Pruning reduces the length of branches to prevent breakage from heavy fruit years or weather and removes dead or diseased branches
On Monday (Jan. 30), the seven heritage trees at Parker’s Landing Historical Park in Washougal will receive a complimentary pruning from Cascade Tree works, LLC. This company also assisted with last year’s Clark County Heritage tree nomination. The heritage trees include a five apple tree orchard, a cherry tree and an English walnut, which is grafted on a black walnut tree because the black walnut tolerates poor soil.
Pruning reduces the length of branches to prevent breakage from heavy fruit years or weather and removes dead or diseased branches. During the recent high winds that slammed Washougal, one heritage apple lost a major branch.
Because of how damaging bad pruning can be, and how valuable trees are, it’s important to hire an local expert that has fruit tree pruning experience and is a certified arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Richard Kemmerly, the arborist for Cascade Treeworks, LLC is ISA certified.
Cascade Treeworks, LLC and other park partners (donors) are displayed on flyers near the water feature at the home of the heritage trees, Parker’s Landing Historical Park. The flyers suggest hiring park partners to thank them for their donations that protect and improve the park.
Advisory Committee Member Jeff Buchholz (grandson of park founder John Buchholz), commented on how happy he was with the quality of tree services provided by Cascade Treeworks at his home.
Kemmerly states two especially important reasons for tree pruning: maintenance and safety. Regular pruning also keeps trees healthy and vibrant.
When should you prune fruit trees in western Washington? Traditionally, it is done from mid-December to mid-April. Because walnut trees are susceptible to blight, major pruning is done during their dormant period. Summer pruning is harder on trees and shouldn’t be done during a drought.
Walnuts are a challenge to grow in the Northwest and so most commercial growers have given up. Because walnuts were once a large crop in the Northwest, there are plenty of articles on growing walnuts.
According to the Heritage Trees of Clark County website, “Often long-lived and large in size, trees may serve as living markers of times gone by or notable places. They may be associated with historic persons or events, or they may be unusual by their presence in this part of the world.”
The WSU Master Gardener Program of Clark County oversees the Heritage Tree Program. They will have a booth at the 2nd Annual Parkersville Day, on June 3, 2023. Their arborist will answer questions about the heritage trees, pruning, and will give a walking tour of the heritage trees while naming other trees at Parker’s Landing Historical Park
Learn more at the Second Annual Parkersville Day, on June 3, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Follow park activities at https://www.facebook.com/ParkersLandingHistoricalPark. If interested in volunteering, email ParkersvilleHeritageFoundation@gmail.com.
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