Cleaning Up The Apple Orchard

What a mess!! The blackberry vines have taken over our apple orchard at the farm the last two years. It was actually hard to get to the apple trees to pick the fruit!  This picture was taken last fall after Eddie had mowed off enough to allow us to walk through the orchard.

Three years ago we had a bumper crop of blackberries all over the farm.  I froze more berries that year and made more juice than we had ever had.  We think what we didn’t pick, reseeded or the birds and raccoons  ate them and reseeded everywhere they went.

Hubby on the tractor using the bushhog to take the mess down. You can’t restore the orchard if you can’t get to the ground to plant new tree stock.

The equipment attached to the back of the tractor is the bushhog. You run over the brush and unwanted vines and it chops it all up much like a lawnmower but on a bigger scale.

The blackberry vines had come up in rows all through the orchard.

Half way through and it’s looking so much better.  The blackberry vines were from four feet tall to well over 10 feet tall.

This is a different angle from half way back in the orchard looking toward the front where most of the mess was.

I think it looks 100% better now. The chickens were having a blast digging through the downed brambles!!

 

5 responses to “Cleaning Up The Apple Orchard

  1. That is an amazing piece of machinery .. blackberries are beautiful, but they love nothing more than taking over!

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  2. Those brush hogs are amazing tools!!!

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  3. I fertilized our orchard yesterday but still need to clean up around the trunks. The grass has grown in too much and the voles are damaging the younger trees. A few hours with a garden fork and load of bark mulch will do the trick.

    I’m hoping for a huge crop of blackberries again this year. We’re fortunate to have them growing wild nearby. Our cultivated raspberries seem to have worn themselves out. Steve will mow all but one short row soon and then we’ll see what comes back. Raspberries aren’t nearly as prolific in the wild here as the blackberries.

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  4. The fruit is great, but the brambles of the exotic blackberries that has naturalized here are WICKED!

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  5. Blackberries are the BEST — but they do tend to go a little crazy 😉 My mom used to make blackberry preserves, then use them for turnovers. Yum.

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