Protecting Fruit Trees In Winter – A Brief Guide
Even if, in general, fruit trees adapt to very low temperatures over the winter, it is still recommended several frost protection measures are taken, especially since they are easy and at the fingers’ tips, lest next year’s crop is affected. First of all, shortly after the fall of the leaves and until the buds show up again in spring, the tree enters a so-called stagnation stage or vegetative dormancy during which the nutrients absorption and the breathing process significantly decrease. His is why fruit trees can benefit from any help we can give over the cold season. Here is more on protecting fruit trees in winter.
We said a while ago that ridging the land around the lower part of the trunk helps a fruit tree stand throughout the winter without injury and make a better growth in summer. So raise a 30-40 cm ridge around the trunk base to protect the roots from freezing. If frost has already settled in then bring dirt from somewhere else and avoid digging around the tree and expose its roots to the negative temperatures.
If you cannot ridge the soil anymore, then use straw, hay or corn cobs in order to cover the lower parts of the stem. You can also protect it by wrapping the stem in newspapers, burlap or even applying a layer of lime. The lime can also protect the tree from possible pests hidden in the bark cracks over the winter.
If the frost is not biting yet, then make sure the tree has enough water serves for the winter, especially if it happens to be a cold season with little snowfall. Dig around the root late fall when it’s still warm outside and pour water consistently. Remove any dried leaves fallen around the tree base so they won’t host and pests over the winter.
Another important role in protecting the fruit trees over winter is applying some copper-based treatments. Some of the most widely used agricultural fungicides contain copper, including copper oxychloride and copper hydroxide. They can be bought from a nursery where you can also get use instructions. They are a key tool in disease prevention and treatment on a large variety of trees. It effectively controls diseases such as anthracnose, bacterial leaf spot, fireblight, and botrytis among many others. It is also an effective method of preventing and treating cold damage and can provide protection against light frosts in many plants.
Sources: Horticultorul.ro, Hobbygradina.ro, Treehelp.com