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What a delight fruit trees like apple, pear, cherry, and plum are to the beginning gardener. They come in all sizes and varieties and provide colorful blossoms in the spring and delicious fruits in the summer and fall.

The most important care you can give your fruit trees is an annual pruning. This will boost your harvest of top-notch fruit, keep your tree healthy, and manage its size. You’ll need a good set of hand clippers or “shears” and a set of long-handled “loppers” for higher branches. Your first pruning should come when you plant your bare-root fruit tree, most likely in the spring or the fall. After that, late winter is the best, when the tree is dormant and the leaves are gone so you can see where to cut. You should never prune in the spring, when the fruit tree is growing actively and its sap is running. You are likely to cause bleeding and open the tree to infections.

When pruning, you want to avoid flat cuts or the stubs will collect water and invite disease. Cut at a slant about one-quarter inch (a little under one centimeter) above a promising bud (that is, a bud that will produce a branch headed in the direction you want), a promising side branch, or a main branch.

When you are pruning your fruit trees, you are aiming for producing a tree in a spreading shape, without branches too close to the ground, and thinned so the sun can get through the leaves and ripen the fruit. For trees that bear heavy fruits like apples and pears, you want to encourage what is called a “central leader,” a strong middle branch from which other strong branches grow. Thin the branches along the center trunk by cutting right at the trunk so there’s plenty of space between them. Do the same for each secondary branch and so on until you get to the outermost branches. When choosing where to thin, look to cut away branches that are mostly vertical or too close to other established branches. For trees that bear lighter weight fruits, such as cherry and plums, prune for an open center. You want to encourage three or four branches along the lower part of the trunk spreading out to form a vase. The secondary branches can then be treated as they are in apple and pear trees. Whenever you’re doing your pruning to shape, also remove damaged wood back to a live branch, take off a few older limbs before they become too big, and cut off branches that have crossed and might rub.

The one exception to the rule about pruning only in the colder months is the case of suckers. These are fast-growing shoots that grow along the roots of a fruit tree. These will not grow into healthy fruit trees but will compete for resources with your tree. Suckers should be treated as weeds and lopped off at the base or mowed over as soon as they appear.

Pruning your fruit trees once a year is an easy chore that will keep your trees blooming and attractive and help ensure a robust crop.

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Lipstick Colors For Fair Complexions

According to a study by L’Oréal, there is “the actual color and the perceived color of skin” that should be considered when choosing the right makeup colors. If your skin tone is extra fair finding the best lipstick colors for your complexions is a hard thing to do because most colors can be overpowering. Deep, bold lipstick colors can be suitable when drama is needed, like for a date night. Softer shades however, are the most flattering for everyday wear.

Pink lipstick

Pink colored lipstick can help a pale complexion look healthy and vibrant. Care needs to be taken so that the pink color chosen doesn’t have a white undertone, unless you’re going for a 1960s look. The best pink shades to choose range from those that are slightly darker in contrast to skin tone to those that are warmer.

Rose pink can be especially flattering on your skin, and tends to look great on individuals with delicate features and blond to mid brown hair. Women with darker hair may find they need to define their lips a little more, and a dusky rose or deeper plum color lipstick will do the trick.

Red lipstick

Red colored lipstick can be daring next to a pale skin tone. Unless this is the goal, subtle reds that have an orange, rather than blue-based undertone tend to be a better choice with the most appealing result.

A great method for applying red lipstick to achieve a natural looking effect is to use a fingertip to spread color over lips. This results in lips appearing flushed rather than heavily made-up.

Mauve lipstick

Women with very fair skin need to be wary of using purple-based lipstick colors. Subtlety is the key and gentle plum-toned mauve colors, rather than blue-based purple tones, are the most flattering.

Orange lipstick

Just like white-based pink tones, orange lipstick colors can appear old-fashioned and stale. Warm, pink-based orange lipstick colors are best. Neon orange colors however, should be avoided, these can make you look ill of all things!

Brown lipstick

Brown lipstick colors are not generally attractive next to pale-toned skin. Avoid this color if you’re going for drama, it will only appear muddy. If you love brown-based lipstick then maybe try a warm, plum-based brown that is light in tone, or mix subtle brown lipstick with pink.

Burgundy lipstick

Burgundy lipstick can achieve a completely different result to subtle pink. Burgundy is a warm color, although not as severe as red. Used sparingly, it can add color and depth so that lips are more noticeable without makeup looking too obvious.

With your fair complexion, you have plenty of colors to choose from, depending on your mood and where you’re going.

Skin Tone Chart by L’Oréal


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