Thursday, November 5, 2015

Raspberries or Something Else Entirely

One of the things I first noticed when we came to view this house for the first time was the five apple trees along the southern fence. After we had made an offer and returned for a home inspection, I noticed a jungle of a mess hiding behind the apple tree foliage. They looked to be raspberry canes that had been allowed to run a muck. No worries. I knew what needed to be done.

I haven't had much of an opportunity to deal with the overgrowth until now. I'm thankful for the warm spell we are experiencing in central Ontario because yesterday I was able to get out there with some hedge trimmers and a rake.

 This is "before". See how it's all tangled in the tree? That's Watson, the cocker spaniel. He's very excited to be outside. 

Oh boy! What a task. The vines had been allowed to grow into the closest apple tree. This may have been the reason why this particular tree gave no fruit this year. The canes have sprouted new roots and have sprawled over the fence and toward the house. A jungle is putting it lightly.

I decided a complete clean sweep was necessary so I cut them back to about a foot tall. And I found two berry bushes intermingled. I think they are blue berries but I'm not sure.
This is the "after". One huge pile of vines and an imagined sigh of relief from the apple tree. 

They were planted like this. Raspberry. Blueberry. Raspberry, Blueberry. Raspberry. In a row like that. I have never know anyone to plant these in such a way. It's just not conducive to good growth and production. In addition to that, they are too close to the apple trees. I'm sure it looked lovely or sounded like a great idea at the time of planting when the apple trees were narrow and the berry bushes small but over 10 years they have taken over the back corner.

At first I wasn't sure if they were indeed raspberries. I've only ever know raspberry canes to have thorns and these ones do not. Thanks to the internet I now know they do come thornless as well. And I wasn't sure if raspberry canes grew so long and sprouted new roots as it sprawled out. My friend tells me that yes, raspberries do, indeed, do that as well. So I think it's safe to say they are raspberries. Yay!

The berries will have to be moved away from the apples but that is a project for next year. I am worried if I do anything to the roots now they won't survive the winter.

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