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Contact: Meg Scheid, 207-454-3874
On Saturday, May 10, Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in Calais, Maine will host a hands-on apple tree pruning workshop in partnership with University of Maine's Cooperative Extension. The focus of the workshop is pruning fruit trees for preservation.
Meg Scheid, U.S. National Park Ranger at the international site, says there are 22 apple trees that need pruning and on-going care, but not the typical pruning and care for fruit production. "Because we are more concerned with preserving these apple trees than increasing their fruit yield, we looked for an expert to help us learn the ropes."
Scheid located fruit tree specialist Renea Moran, from Highmoor Farm, the University of Maine's apple, small fruit, and vegetable research facility in Monmouth, Maine. Together, Moran and Scheid have planned the May 10 event, and the public is invited to participate in the workshop, which will take place in the orchard located at the international historic site.
Ms. Moran will begin with a pruning talk, followed by pruning demonstrations, during which participants can observe and ask questions. Once she completes the pruning of a couple trees, participants will break into small groups and try their new pruning skills on the remaining apple trees. Ms. Moran will coach the small groups as they work their way through the orchard. Any adult can participate in the hands-on pruning if they’ve completed Ms. Moran's training.
"It should be a lot of fun for everyone," Scheid said. "Our goal is to complete the careful pruning of as many trees as possible, so the more the merrier!"
Scheid hopes that a few folks in the area would like to help participate each spring with the upkeep of the trees, which she said should be easy once this year’s pruning is completed.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, in the parking area at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. All participants will be signed up as National Park Service volunteers. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m., and is expected to continue no later than mid-afternoon.
Park staff will provide several pruning tools to share, but participants are asked to bring their own pruning tool, if they have one--Ms. Moran recommends long-handled pruning loppers. The workshop will be held rain or shine. Participants should bring drinking water and pack a lunch; there are picnic tables at the site.
The international historic site is located on U.S. Route 1, eight miles south of Calais, Maine. Questions can be directed to Meg Scheid at 207-454-3871.