The art of omission

White clouds of breath in the stillness of the winter morning. Thomas Kohl is out with his employees in the apple orchard. Winter calm has set in, and then the leaves have fallen. The last ones have been picked by the autumn wind.

The mood on this day is serene, strangely poetic and almost solemn. The bare branches of the trees paint signs in the strangely luminous blue sky. It is the first day of winter pruning.

It will take many days to prune all the trees. It is a task best done by those who have experience and tact, knowledge and a feel for what exactly that tree needs.

"It's a personal encounter with each tree. You look at it: Where is it? How much sun does it get, how much wind and rain, which trees are on the left and right." The shears take away shoots and branches, everything unwanted. What the tree gets in return is vital growth, light and air for the fruit right into its core.

Careful winter pruning ends a year in the apple orchard, and at the same time it begins the new apple year. "It is one of the most important jobs we do. And apart from the harvest, it takes the most time." Also, because it is important to do the work with calm and composure, Thomas Kohl is convinced.