If the sunny weather is inspiring you to get out and do something active, consider volunteering at the Curran Apple Orchard, by adopting a tree. With pruning season beginning, becoming the proud parent of a tree can be both mentally and physically refreshing.
The Curran Apple Orchard features over 250 trees and is maintained by volunteers every year. In adopting a tree, citizens ensure the park both remains beautiful and produces a bountiful harvest in the fall. A tree can be adopted for $40, with pruning classes being provided for free, you are then able to take part in the harvest during the fall. Tasks throughout the year include pruning, thinning, hanging insect traps, which are provided and removing windfall apples as they occur.
“People can adopt a tree, for one price they agree they will prune the tree and take care of it, for an additional fee, volunteers will prune the tree for them, and they can enjoy the harvest at the end of the season,” Curran Orchard Resource Enthusiasts (CORE) member Debbie Klosowski said.
New adopters are required to take a pruning workshop class, to learn the ins and outs of tree care, after that, they are free to stop by any time they want to take care of their tree.
“Everyone is welcome to come, if people know what they’re doing and they’ve attended a pruning class, if they want to come during the week at their leisure and prune the tree that we assign to them, that is perfectly acceptable, and we encourage that,” Klosowski said
The pruning classes, known as pruning parties allow the community come out and learn from Master Gardeners from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The next parties take place on March 5 and March 19. Two more parties are scheduled on April 2 and April 16. Recommended pruning tools include work gloves, hand pruners, loppers and hand saws.
Pruning involves trimming the trees in the proper way to allow for maximum sunlight and oxygen.
“In order to get a healthy harvest, its really important that you get enough light and air circulating in the tree by making educated pruning cuts in the tree, you’re helping ensure that you will get a healthier, better harvest in the fall,” Klosowski said.
“You help support a unique community park, you get to learn how to take care of a tree, it’s good for the environment, you get to enjoy the fruit at the end of the season and you get to spend time outdoors,” Klosowski said.
Volunteering to prune is not just work to help out the Orchard, it provides an unmatched outdoor experience that encourages relaxation.
“The birds are singing, we have deer and rabbits, we’ve seen foxes. I find it personally a big stress reliever, a way to escape daily life and go into this beautiful orchard in the middle of our community, its like you’re in a completely different area,” Klosowski said.
For more information, or to volunteer to adopt a tree, visit http://www.curranappleorchard.com.