Our featured Spotlight this month is in Summerland where the fruit trees think it is Spring already after the warm weather we have been having. The fruit trees on this property are very old but still bear a wonderful crop of fruit most years.There is a lot of land here, so much of the landscaping is old and as low-maintenance as possible.

Mario Gandarillo of Maranatha Landscapes completed the Green GardenGandarillo01er Program last year and he was very happy to learn expert pruning techniques before the trees needed their annual pruning.

The amount and quality of fruit that comes from any tree is strongly affected by the way the tree is pruned. There are different rules for almost every kind of fruit tree.

For example, peaches need very radical pruning because they only bear fruit on last year's wood. If they are left untended the tree gets bigger and the fruit gets smaller.

Rose pruning was also covered in the program. When roses are pruned correctly they will grow well and flower abundantly with less water and less disease.

Mario was also very interested in the water conserving methods taught in the classes. This particular property has large areas of grass utilizing sprinklers, and with the many new water management techniques he learned, he hopes to cut the water use significantly in the summer.

Mario uses a mulching mower and is trying to introduce mulch as an option for the areas of bare earth on this land. Some owners feel that bare earth looks tidier and have to be persuaded of the value of mulching in restoring the life of the soil.

You will find Maranatha Landscapes on the Green Gardener list.