Park holds apple and pear tree pruning workshop

PortOneidaFair6 copyFrom staff reports

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host its annual pruning workshop on Friday, May 3, in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. The workshop will be held at the Dechow farmstead in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District, four miles north of Glen Arbor on M-22 across from Port Oneida Road. Directional signs will be placed to help participants to the location.

The workshop will focus on maintenance of neglected apple and pear trees and how to bring them back into production, as well as maintain their health. The course will include: 1) how to identify and properly remove dead materials from abandoned trees, 2) proper pruning of the canopy for optimum maintenance and apple production, 3) maintaining tree health, 4) how to maintain ground cover under the tree, 5) watering and care of the tree, and 6) equipment safety.

The park is partnering with the Leelanau Conservation District, Michigan State University Northwest Michigan Horticultural Station, and the County Extension Master Gardener Program to offer this hands-on training workshop. Experts from the three county offices will provide the technical information while the park serves as the host for this annual event.

The course is set up so participants receive “hands-on” training in all techniques. The workshop hours are 1-4 p.m. An orientation and introduction will begin at 1. There is no cost to participants. Tools and background information will be provided. Participants should wear sturdy shoes and gloves. In case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Monday, May 6 at the same time and location.

Participants do not need to have any pre-existing skills. The purpose of the workshop is to teach the techniques and train homeowners and the interested public how to restore and maintain the health of antique apple and pear trees.

Interested parties should contact the park Historical Architect, Kimberly Mann, at (231) 326-5135, ext. 501, to sign up for the workshop. Participants may also sign up by email at