Have you heard about the various ways you can use the cuttings from pruning? Join us and find out more about the agricultural work of The Natural Fruit Company!
Pruning involves cutting off and removing parts of the respiratory system of woody plants, and its main purpose is to give trees a good structure, improvingbranching and yield.
It is an annual agricultural practice for woody crops and it usually takes place in winter, when the plants are dormant, or after the harvest period. It is important to prune carefully and avoid splitting the branches, as this can cause severebreakage and wood rot.
There are many different types of pruning, depending on what you need to achieve, and there are many ways to use the cuttings.
The cuttings from pruning can be complicated to handle in any agricultural situation. You are left with a large volume of branches and leaves which can be difficult to clear away from between the rows of crops and it has become a considerable problem, environmentally and even socially.
Consequentially, there are various methods or solutions that can be used to recycle these cuttings, with an aim to improve the sustainability of the production system and to provide benefits to the crops and soil.
One of the most well-known methods is used here at The Natural Fruit Company: Mixing the cuttings back into the soil!
Traditionally, cuttings are usually burned, but this generates smoke that seriously contaminates the atmosphere, as well as ashes that are hard to dispose of.
With us, the trimmings from pruning our lemon, orange and mandarin trees are all put back into the soil between the lines of trees. The cuttings are chipped and they eventually decompose, adding a large amount of organic material back into the soil.
This contributes to improving the balance of nutrient extraction which occurs during farming and it provides the soil with the elements it needs to maintain a good structure and nutritional composition. Furthermore, this practice protects the soil from erosion and desiccation, reducing water evaporation and maintaining a more stable humidity level.
By using this practice, The Natural Fruit Company is looking to provide a solution to an important environmental issue, and we are also taking an actionwhich reduces the generation of contaminating gases and leachates. Therefore, by mixing the cuttings back into the soil, we are providing nutrients for the growth of new branches and leaves.