Starting fruit trees out right!

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  IceFire 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #49077

    theoutback
    Participant

    A member here PMed me on a fruit tree question and I thought it may help out others if I started a thread w/ a couple tips.

    I just want to give a couple tips on steps that many do not think of when planting fruit trees. Preparing for pests is a major thing that needs to be addressed. First pest is vols. (meadow mice) During the winter they will chew and feed on the bark of trees. If they chew all the way around the base of a tree, they will kill it.

    An easy way to keep vols from killing the tree is to use window screen vol guards! If you haven’t done this yet, now is a good time to do it, before winter. Cut a piece of window screen at about 15″ long, wrap around the trees flat and staple the outside edges every couple inches so there are no gaps. Pull it down tight to the ground like this…..

    #65835

    Cin
    Participant

    I was told now is the time to prune fruit trees. I have a peach tree growing wonky because an animal climbed it to get the fruit and broke off a major branch. It didn’t kill the tree, but now it leans to one side and the branches on that side are very heavy. When it fruited this summer, the branch nearly touched the ground. I’d like to alleviate the stress and get it growing right again. Can I prune it now?

    #65838

    IceFire
    Moderator

    Now that the sap isn’t flowing is the best time to prune. Just be sure to use pruning paint where you made the cut, to act as a “bandage” on the cut.

    I need to get out and do some weeding in the orchard, then move in some manure to fertilize.

    #65840

    Cin
    Participant

    Thanks, Ice. I’ll see about getting pruning paint first. All the nurseries are closed now the season is over, so maybe I can find some at Tractor Supply or Ace.

    #66169

    IceFire
    Moderator

    When our fruit trees were heavy with fruit, my Dad would use 2x4s to prop up the branches to help support them so they wouldn’t break.

    Had a blasted pocket gopher invade my orchard and chew the roots off 2 of my pear trees (Asian pear, and Kieffer.) They were literally laying on the ground. I saw that there was still a little bit of root left on them, so decided to “experiment” and plunked them into a bucket of water (not completely full…left the level low so some of the root was exposed to the air so they wouldn’t drown. Guess what…it WORKED! Roots are re-growing, and the trees are budding out with leaves getting ready to pop. When I get ready to re-plant them, they’ll get a “suit of armor” (wire mesh) around the roods to protect them from the evil beasties. Also noticed that the trees that had garlic planted around them did NOT have pocket gopher issues, so the re-planted trees will get garlic, as well.

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