If the growing season is slowing down, don’t ignore your fruit trees. Below are 8 tips to follow when preparing your fruit trees for winter.
Shield Your Fruit Trees Against Frost
In cold parts of the country, fruit trees are susceptible to frost. This results in trunk cracking that diminishes the tree’s ability to take up nutrients and moisture, creating an opening for insects. Shield the bark with tree wrap and take the wrapping off in the springtime. Call a tree care company to get the work done professionally.
Mulch Around Trees
Place woodchip mulch around your fruit trees to discourage competing weeds and grass. Wait until after a period of frost to spread the mulch so rodents don’t make a home in the woodchips beforehand.
Clean Up Around Your Trees
Diseases and insects overwinter in tree debris. For instance, apple scab is a typical disease found on apple trees. It is created by spores released from dead apple leaves and fruit left on the dirt.
Harvest Fall-Bearing Fruit Trees
Pick pears before they mature and let them ripen inside your home in a cool room (i.e. basement). When picking apples, hold the apple at the bottom and slightly twist the fruit upwards to one side. Keep fruit refrigerated for the longest shelf life.
Safeguard Your Fruit Trees from Rodents
You can use bendable white plastic drainage pipe or coiled vinyl spirals. Be sure the tree guard goes an inch underground and up to the lowest limbs of the tree.
Keep fruit trees well-watered until late autumn. This is critical if rainfall is in short supply. Water one to two inches deep down so the water gets into the root zone.
Wait to Fertilize
Autumn isn’t the time to fertilize your fruit trees. Fertilizing in autumn might create new growth. In cold areas, tree experts recommend not fertilizing fruit trees until after July.
Thwart Insect Pests
Autumn is the perfect time to use an insect barrier for pests like ants, cankerworms, gypsy moths, weevils, and caterpillars. The sticky solution is weatherproof, long-lasting, and catches bugs as they crawl up the tree to find a winter home.