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Most of all the work on caring for apple trees occurs in the spring. If this is not done, then a good harvest of apples can not be expected.
- When and where to start
- Restoration of damaged trees
- Formative pruning and whitewashing of trunks
- Pest control
- Frost protection and top dressing
When and where to start
Apple tree care activities begin after the temperature outside rises above 0 ° C. Usually at this time there is still snow, but the trees have already begun to wake up from hibernation and growth processes have begun to intensify in them. The first thing to do in the spring is to trample the trunk circles.
This will help prevent rodent damage to the trees. Usually at this time, mice in search of food begin to eat the bark, especially young apple trees suffer from this. Snow should be trampled down in early March, if it is late, rodents can cause very severe damage, which in some cases can even lead to the death of the tree.
In some years, the height of the snow cover becomes very high so that the snow begins to reach the lower skeletal branches. In this case, it should be cleaned immediately so that rodents cannot damage the delicate bark of the branches.
Restoration of damaged trees
After winter, breaks of large branches can often be observed on apple trees. This usually happens during winter warming, when wet snow becomes too heavy and breaks branches. Most often, young apple trees and undersized standard forms of trees suffer from this phenomenon.
Frostbite of small branches is also very common. To help the apple tree cope with these problems, you need to carry out sanitary pruning. They start it in March after the temperature stops dropping below -10 ° C.
You can continue trimming until the buds begin to swell. The apple tree trunk is also worth examining for damage. If there is damage to the bark caused by the activity of rodents, they must be covered with garden pitch.
Also, on the apple tree, you can often find frost holes. They look like dark spots on the bark. With very severe damage, the bark may even flake off. In this case, it must be removed to a healthy place, and the damage must be covered with pitch.
Formative pruning and whitewashing of trunks
In the spring, before the start of sap flow, it is necessary to carry out formative pruning of apple trees in the garden. First of all, all diseased, dry and damaged branches are removed from the trees. Then proceed to formative pruning.
It is carried out on trees over 7 years old. To do this, they cut out all the branches located on the top of the head. They don't bear fruit anyway. If the age of the apple tree does not exceed 3-4 years, then pruning is not carried out.
Also, in the process of formative pruning, all branches growing inside the crown are removed, especially those whose age is from one to two years. Attention! When pruning, in no case should you remove branches located closer to the surface of the earth, as well as those located in the middle tier, they usually contain the bulk of the crop.
In February or early March, when the sun is already starting to warm up, it is necessary to whitewash the trunks. This will help prevent sunburn of the bark. Young trees are especially in need of whitewashing. To do this, they are painted with water-based acrylic paint from the base of the trunk to the skeletal branches.
It reliably protects the trunk and stays on the bark for quite a long time. It is useless to whitewash after the snow melts; it will rather perform a decorative function than a protective one. Also, it is not worth whitewashing apple trees, whose age has exceeded 15 years, their bark is already so coarse that it is not exposed to sunlight.
In the spring, it is also very important to treat apple trees from pests. It should start immediately after the appearance of the first thawed patches in the trunk circle. At this time, special trapping belts are installed on the trunks, which effectively protect the apple trees from crawling pests.
Especially this measure helps in the fight against the flower beetle weevil. Attention! When installing, the catching belts must be very tight to the trunk. After installing the trapping belts, it is necessary to spray the trees with preparations against pests and diseases.
Its term should fall at the time of bud break, usually the air temperature at this moment is already about 12 ° C. The following drugs can be used to destroy pests:
Video about the most dangerous pests for the apple tree and how to deal with them:
To fight disease, it is recommended to use the following tools:
- Bordeaux mixture
Most of these drugs can be combined with each other. After the end of flowering, the apple trees should be re-processed. In this case, it is worth navigating at the time of the appearance of the ovaries. It is now that pests begin their vigorous activity. Preference should now be given to biological defense drugs, rather than chemical agents. For example, you can use the following:
Spraying apple trees must be done in dry, calm weather in the evening. In most cases, two spring treatments are sufficient to keep the trees healthy for the entire season.
Frost protection and top dressing
At the onset of the flowering period, you need to make sure that the apple trees do not fall under the influence of frost, otherwise the whole color may crumble and then you can not wait for the harvest. There are several ways to protect trees from frost.
With water. If, according to the forecast, frosts are expected at night, I recommend sprinkling the crown of the tree with water. This will partially reduce the negative impact of negative temperatures on trees.
Attention! This method of protection must absolutely not be used in windy weather, otherwise the effect will be exactly the opposite.
With the help of smoke. You can also use smoke to protect flowering apple trees from recurrent frosts. To do this, fires are made in the garden, in which they put straw, peat or rotten wood. All these materials have the ability to smolder for a long time and emit a fairly large amount of smoke.
Also for these purposes, you can in advance heaps of sawdust or peat, and drive a stake into their center. Before the threat of frost, it is taken out, and the heap itself is set on fire. Thanks to the hole in the center, the materials smolder for a long time and at the same time smoke a lot.
Top dressing is the last thing that apple trees need in the spring. To do this, in April, small pits are dug around the perimeter of the trunk circle, no more than 25 cm deep. Complex fertilizer is poured into each of them and covered with earth. Such feeding is carried out no more than once every 2 or 3 years.
After the end of the flowering period, the trees are fed again. For this, fertilizers of the phosphorus-potassium group are used. Attention! You should never feed apple trees by sprinkling fertilizer on the soil or snow. It won't do any good anyway. Since most of the fertilizers will be washed off by melt water or used by weeds.