The worker will perform job duties as assigned by supervisor. They will vary from time to time depending on crop ripening and weather. The work is temporary and will last from June to November.
Apple Harvesting-The worker will position a ladder as close to the tree and climb to harvest the apples. The apples are harvested by grabbing the apple and gently rolling it upward toward the spur until the fruit comes off. The fruit is then placed in a picking sack until it is filled to the rim. The worker will then carry the sack to the closest bin to dump out the fruit. The worker then positions the full apple picking sack just above the apples in the bin. Next, the worker releases the closing apparatus to open the bottom of the apple picking bag. The worker will rest it gently on the apples in the bin. Then, slowly lift the apple picking bag, while carefully drawing it over the top of the bin. The picked apples are gently placed on top of the apples in the bin.
Summer Pruning of Apple Trees- The worker will use pruning clippers with an adjustable length to prune the apple trees. The worker must cut all root sucker shoots, waterspout shoots, fire-blight infected wood, stubs or broken branches, and dead branches. The worker will also cut undesired growth such as: vertical and horizontal shoots, branches growing downward off the main branches, crowded branches, rubbing or crisscrossing branches, shaded interior branches, competing leader shoots, narrow crotches, and whorls off the apple tree. All the cut brush will be piled up in the block row to be picked up and taken out of the orchard for proper disposal or burning.
Hand Thinning Apple Trees- The worker will first manually remove malformed, diseased, or insect damaged apples. Then they will manually remove the smaller apples in comparison to the other apples on the cluster. Hand thinning will be done according to the supervisors specifications and with care as to not damage the spur or other apples on the spur. The worker will hold the stem between their thumb and forefinger and push the fruit from the stem with the other fingers.
Tree Training of Apple Trees- In the training of apple trees the worker will use bending and tying shoots and pruning in younger trees and pruning in mature trees. The tree should be trained with one central leader or main trunk in the center, with several wide-angled limbs spaced around the leader in order to mature into a pyramidal shape. Tree training will be done according to the supervisors specifications.
Apple Tree Nursery Work
Grafting- Grafting will be used to propagate apple trees in the nursery. The worker will take scions, a small piece of wood collected from a parent plant and graft it to the rootstock of another tree by. The worker will go down the nursery row and take a scion. The scion is cut to a wedge shape, and the under-stock is split. The scion is then wedged into the split to ensure complete healing, the cambium on both ends of the split must be grafted. The worker will make sure the cambium lines up as much as possible and wrap the entire graft area completely with parafilm or tape to seal in moisture.
T-Budding- The worker will go down the nursery row and firmly hold the rootstock and make a vertical cut in the side of the stock using a knife. The worker will then make a second horizontal cut just above the vertical cut to form a T in the bark. The worker then twists the knife to slightly open the T. The worker then takes a bud stick and removes a bud by making an upward slicing cut below the bud and then cutting upward above the bud. The bud is then removed by a horizontal cut above the bud. The bud shield is then inserted into the T shaped cut flaps and slid under the bark flaps until the top edges are even. The worker will make sure the cambium lines up as much as possible and wrap the bud union, being careful not to cover the actual bud, with parafilm or tape to seal in moisture.