UC Santa Cruz offers pruning workshops January 10 and 31

Two UC Santa Cruz gardening experts will show you how to improve the health and productivity of your apple and pear trees at a three-hour pruning workshop on Saturday, January 10, from 9 a.m. to noon. The class takes place at the Louise Cain Gatehouse on the UC Santa Cruz Farm.

UCSC garden managers Christof Bernau and Albie Miles will discuss general fruit tree care throughout the year, then demonstrate proper pruning techniques. "We'll talk about the benefits and goals of pruning, and how both winter and summer pruning can enhance fruit tree health, fruit quality, and vigor," said Bernau. Unpruned or poorly pruned trees tend to get into a cycle of "alternate bearing," with good production one year and a poor crop the next, said Bernau. "This syndrome can be easily corrected with proper pruning," he added.

A similar workshop on pruning stone fruit trees--plums, peaches, and apricots--is scheduled for January 31.

Cost of each workshop is $10 for Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, and $15 for the general public, payable the day of the class. No preregistration is necessary. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothes; heavy rain cancels the event.

For more information or details about access, call (831) 459-3240 or send e-mail to jonitann@ucsc.edu. The workshops are cosponsored by the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden, and the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems.

The UCSC Farm is located 1/4 mile up the gravel road above the Blacksmith Shop. Free public parking is available in the Physical Plant parking lot, across the street from the Blacksmith Shop. After entering campus, turn right at the first stoplight and park in the Physical Plant parking lot. A map is available at www.ucsc.edu/casfs.