Maryville College Grove Project
Blount County Master Gardeners are pleased to partner with Maryville College in the rehabilitation of the college’s fruit grove. This partnership provides educational opportunities for Maryville College students and Extension Master Gardeners working side by side to prune, maintain, and add new trees to the grove. All Extension Master Gardeners are welcome to join in this project which provides a unique hands on learning experience, primarily in late winter/early spring. All activities take place in the Maryville College Woods. Participants meet at the MacArthur Pavilion before moving to the grove or into the woods for the task of the day.
Work begins in February or early March with a Fruit Tree Pruning Seminar with instruction from Blount County’s Ag Agent, John Wilson. Students and Master Gardeners learn advanced pruning techniques for fruit trees; and the spring pruning is completed with a couple of work days. Following that, students and Master Gardeners embark in general clean up and removal of invasive/exotic plant species under the watchful eye of Dr. Drew Crain, Biology Professor at Maryville College. Then, adding new fruit trees to the grove takes place, usually the second week of March with John Wilson again offering instruction on the tree planting.
Maryville College Grove has 36 trees (20 apple, 6 pear, 4 nectarine, and 6 cherry) in two plots, one in Grove’s Knoll and the other near Brown’s Creek. The plan is to add 14 trees to each plot yearly. Produce from this project is donated to local food banks.
For more information, contact Donna Dixon via email: email@example.com