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Fruit tree pruning workshop at NMSU Alcalde Center on March 4

ALCALDE, N.M. ? The groundhog may have said six more weeks until spring, but it is time to prune fruit trees to get ready for the new growth.

New Mexico State University?s Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde will host its annual fruit tree pruning workshop from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 4. The center is located at 371 County Road 40 in Alcalde.

The workshop will include presentations on pruning basics, common training systems and some new development for each species. There will be a hands-on session in the field after the presentations.

?Training and pruning can direct the tree to the shape you prefer,? said Shengrui Yao, NMSU Extension fruit specialist. ?Training is mainly performed in young trees, while pruning should be done annually or regularly. Pruning can increase yield and improve fruit quality by adjusting crop load, removing over-crowded branches and increasing light penetration and air circulation.?

Tree species included in the pruning workshop will be apples, peaches, cherries, apricots, plums, grapes and blackberries.

?Home gardeners, small farmers and commercial fruit growers are all welcome to attend this event,? Yao said. ?However, this workshop is limited to 50 participants.?

For more information, contact Yao at NMSU Alcalde Center, 505-852-4241; Pat Torres at Extension North District Office, 505-983-4615; Tony Valdez at Taos County Extension Office, 575-758-3982; Don Martinez at Rio Arriba County Extension Office, 505-685-4523 or Tory Hougland at the Rural Agricultural Improvement and Public Affairs Project, 505-852-0480.

Register online at http://rsvp.nmsu.edu/rsvp/treepruning2015 or contact Augusta or Anna at 505-852-4241.