Over the past several years, we’ve planted six dwarf fruit trees of various species on our small, half-acre plot. In addition to the annual fruit they produce, we’ve found that the tree prunings are also useful.
First, after an overnight soak in water, they’re great for adding a fruity, wood-smoke flavor to food on the grill (rather than using more costly, store-bought barbecue wood chips). Trimmed to about 6 inches and bundled together with natural fiber twine (or season-appropriate decorative ribbon), they make excellent gifts for other barbecue aficionados you may know.
Second, if you keep small animals that require chewing fodder — such as meat rabbits or pet gerbils — the pruning leftovers are a great substitute for, once again, the high-cost, store-bought version of a similar product.