Posts Tagged ‘Dave Wilson Nursery’


Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

January 14, 2014

Here is an upcoming, FREE event at one of my favorite nurseries, Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

annie's annualsBare-Root Fruit Trees!
FREE TALK with Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery on Saturday, January 18 at 11 am!

January is the perfect time for Bay Area gardeners to plant bare root fruit trees and Annie’s Annuals & Perennials are thrilled to welcome back our favorite fruit tree expert, Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery on January 18 at 11 am!

Not sure what fruit trees are best suited to your growing zone or space? Phil can totally help with that.

And what about that all important “first cut” – the very first pruning cut that should be made to keep backyard fruit trees a manageable height for harvesting? Phil will walk you through that, too, and give you all of the compelling reasons why you should do it.

Whether you have an established backyard orchard, or are planting your first fruit tree, Phil’s extensive knowledge and passion will get you fired up about growing your own fruit! You’ll walk away with everything you need to know about selecting, planting, pruning, protecting your tree and more. Bring your questions! 

BONUS: The fine and fabulous folks at Dave Wilson are generously donating a wonderful selection of beautiful bare root trees to RAFFLE OFF! No purchase necessary – just be here by 11 am to nab a free raffle ticket!

Annie’s Annuals and Perennials
Nursery: 740 Market Ave. Richmond, CA 94801
Business Office: 801 Chesley Ave. Richmond, CA, 94801
(888) 266-4370



Backyard Fruit Trees: The Hardest Pruning Cut You Will Ever Have to Make

January 9, 2012 Registered & Protected

By Ann Ralph

Commercial-size deciduous fruit trees are a difficult backyard proposition. They take too much space. They’re hard to maintain. Much of the fruit produced on these trees will ripen out of reach. People buy “semi-dwarf” fruit trees because they want small trees but, without pruning, most trees classified as “semi-dwarf” grow to be twice as tall as the average person.

Don’t count on rootstock to control the size of a fruit tree. Fruit trees absolutely require regular pruning to keep them in line. At best, an untrained fruit tree will be an eyesore. At worst, trees grow rapidly to unmanageable sizes and set fruit in quantities that defeat both the tree and the gardener.

That being said, it’s easy to keep fruit trees small.

Hudson's Golden Gem apple, first year

Prune a newly planted sapling to knee-high when it first goes in the ground, a radical cut by any standard. By far, this is the most important and difficult pruning cut you will ever have to make, but it almost guarantees fruit tree success, whether you want to keep your tree at six feet or let it grow taller. This pruning cut is critical, not just for size control and aesthetics, but for the ultimate fruit supporting structure of the tree—the scaffold limbs that develop from the buds below the cut.

The final height of a fruit tree is up to the pruner. A good height for a fruit tree is as tall as you can reach. Routine summer pruning makes it a simple matter to scale fruit trees down. This time of year, in the dormant season, remove only what Portland pruner, John Iott, calls “the dead, the diseased, and the disoriented.” If you want to keep your tree short, leave tall upright whips in place for the time being, and head them back near the Summer Solstice. As a rule, prune young trees lightly and older trees more aggressively.

For more information about rootstocks, training, and summer pruning, visit the Dave Wilson Nursery and UC Davis Home Orchard websites. Local Master Gardeners offer excellent seasonal pruning seminars.  © Ann Ralph

Ann Ralph’s pruning book The Little Fruit Tree will be available from Storey Publishing in 2013. Contact her by way of

Hudson's Golden Gem apple, second year

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