How to prepare the apple trees for the winter?
In the fall, garden trees begin to prepare for the winter season, so that this time passes without a trace for them, and they can meet spring in good condition. Such preparation includes a set of different activities. Consider when to prepare apple trees for winter, and what needs to be done for this.
Why do we need to prepare adult apple trees and shelter young trees for the winter?
Preparing apple trees for the winter is necessary. It will allow trees to survive long frosts normally. Sometimes winter presents surprises, and it can be difficult to transfer low temperatures in combination with the lack of snow even to zoned varieties. From the age of 7, trees already cease to need additional protection from winter temperatures, since frost resistance reaches a maximum, but this does not mean that they cease to need other measures. The trunk circle is also insulated in old specimens.Young seedlings, which must be covered in anticipation of frosty days, are especially in need of protection from low temperatures.
For the winter, apple trees need protection from rodents, which in cold and hungry times begin to penetrate into the gardens. Such "guests" can damage many young trees in the garden and leave the gardener without plantings. Preparatory work for the winter also includes water-charging irrigation and top dressing, preventive measures against diseases and pests. This will strengthen immunity and more easily transfer the harsh period of the year, preserve and increase the yield of the next season.
Did you know? Almost half of the fruit trees are apples. They are grown in almost all countries of the world, but most of all (2/5 of all world production) - in China.
When to start preparing apple trees for winter by region
Thermal insulation itself is carried out at the onset of low temperatures, namely, when the daily average temperature is set at -10 ° C. However, before warming a number of preparatory work is carried out, which has been carried out since the fall. Before warming the trees, it does not hurt to get acquainted with the weather forecast. After all, if the heat returns, then the trees under the shelter can disappear. In the Moscow Region and the middle zone, apple trees are usually insulated when temperatures are set at -10 ° C.The thickness of the mulch layer should be up to 30 cm in Siberia and in the Urals, such measures are taken in early November. In the Urals, special attention is paid to the bulk shelter from sawdust, peat, and straw, since sometimes little snow falls. In Siberia, special attention is paid to trunk protection. In the Leningrad Region, young trees are protected by trunking with air-permeable materials and mulch the soil of the trunk circle.
Important! In spring, you need to remove the covering material on time. It is removed immediately after the snow has completely melted. If the shelter was made of an airtight material (film, roofing material), then it should be removed as soon as the thaw sets in.
Features of apple care in the fall
In late August or early September, after harvesting, the last top dressing is carried out. It can be done a few weeks before the onset of frost. In the Moscow region and the middle zone, the last fertilizer application under the apple tree is carried out in September, in the Urals and Siberia in August. In the southern regions, these top dressings can be carried out until October.After falling leaves, it is removed from the site and disposed of, water-charging irrigation, pruning and preventive measures. The scavenger is regularly removed from under the tree, and when pruned, all uncollected fruits are removed. Be sure to thoroughly clean the bark from lichens, inspection for the identification of pests and diseases.If the latter are detected, they are treated with the appropriate chemical preparations. Then - whitewash and protection against rodents. The soil under the tree is prepared like this - they dig it up and cover it with a layer of mulch.
Did you know? The most frost-resistant tree in the world is larch. Even in the Arctic, it can reach 7 meters in height. It is amazing that this tree can tolerate heat at + 35 ° C.
Thermal insulation technology and preparation of wood for frost
Let us consider in more detail the measures that make it possible to prepare apple trees for wintering.
Pruning is done no later than 1-3 weeks before the onset of frost, in dry weather, so that the places of cuts have time to heal. Usually it is carried out in September-October, after leaf fall. It has a sanitary and thinning direction. Remove damaged, diseased and dry branches. They also get rid of vertical shoots and branches growing inside the crown.Dry branches of old trees are cut so as to leave a stump, which over time will give a new bud, otherwise a hollow may appear at the cut site. In other cases, hemp is not left. The removed wood is burned. In the conditions of severe winters or with the sanitary removal of a large number of branches, the forming pruning is postponed until spring.
Important! For cutting use only a well-sharpened tool. Places of cuts are treated, to prevent the occurrence of infection, with copper sulfate (3%), and then with garden var.
Disease and Pest Treatment
An important point on the eve of the cold period are the activities and treatments that are carried out to prevent the emergence and development of diseases, the spread of pests. For this, it is necessary to dig the soil, remove the remains of vegetation and fallen leaves under the trees. If this is not done, then harmful insects and their larvae can comfortably survive the winter. Be sure to remove the scavenger, since rotten fruits can trigger the appearance of fungal diseases.If insect attacks were observed in the summer, then trees are sprayed with Aktara or Karbofos. Spraying the trunk and the stem circle with urea (500 g per 10 l of water) protects against fungal diseases. This treatment can be made with blue vitriol or Bordeaux mixture. To combat insects, you can attract natural enemies of insects - birds. For this purpose, feeders with food are hung in the garden, and birdhouses are made. Trees should be whitewashed.
Did you know? One of the most winter-hardy varieties of apple trees is considered to be Ural bulk. Trees of this variety under abnormal frosts at -57 ° C were able to recover when other varieties resistant to frost froze.
Cleaning and whitewashing
Be sure to carry out a whitewashing with lime before the cold period of trunks and skeletal branches of trees. This manipulation will well protect against the appearance of frost pits, sunburns in early spring and pests. Whitewashing is carried out after rains, in calm and dry weather, when the temperature regime is set at +2 ... + 4 ° C. If a fungicidal preparation is added to the mortar, this will help to destroy various diseases and insect pests that can survive the winter under the bark of the trunk and cracks.Young apple trees can be whitened immediately, but older specimens should be preliminarily prepared - to clean the trunk. On the eve of this process should cover the earth around the trunk with polyethylene or tarpaulin. Then clean the trunk of exfoliating old bark, moss. After that, the remains of the bark and moss are removed from polyethylene, and then they are burned. Cracks and damage to the trunk are covered with copper sulfate and garden var. And only after that the lime mortar is applied.
Feeding and water-charging irrigation
To prepare apple trees for the winter period, it is imperative to carry out abundant watering in October before frost. If heavy rains occur during this period, then moistening can be omitted. 2-3 weeks after collecting all the fruits, you need to add the necessary mineral fertilizing to the soil, which will prepare the trees for the winter. To do this, during the digging of the soil in the fall, potash and phosphorus fertilizers and ash are added.Such top dressing slows the development and growth of trees, which helps to increase their resistance to cold. On 1 m² of trunk circle, 2 tables are used. tablespoons of superphosphate and potassium sulfate. Such top dressing is combined with water-loading irrigation. To increase the stability and immunity of trees, it is necessary to feed during the entire growing season.
Important! In dry summers, it is necessary to hydrate the garden, since rainy weather in the autumn, after drought, can cause increased growth before wintering, which can lead to the death of young apple trees.
To protect against rodents, the trunk of the apple trees is wrapped in burlap, roofing felt or other suitable material. At the same time, the material is buried in the ground so that the rodents could not make a dig. A good protection would be to use a fine-mesh metal mesh or nylon tights, since they pass air well. When snow falls, you can make a mound of it around the trees, which should be compacted. It will not be easy for small rodents to make passages in such snow.
How to protect the trunk of a young apple tree in winter
Freshly planted plants need special protection in the cold season. Young apple trees must be tied to a support to protect them from gusts of wind. After all, the crown of a young tree is still not strong enough and can break. Some gardeners to protect from wind around the seedlings put a barrier of dry branches, reeds or spruce branches. This will not only give stability to the trees, but also protect the plantings from rodents and cold.The seedling is tied to the support with a soft material.The soil around the seedlings needs to be dug up and mulched with a layer of at least 10 cm - this will protect the roots from freezing. Peat, humus, sawdust and straw are well suited as mulch. The trunk itself should be insulated with burlap or spandbond. The material is fixed with tape or wire. Under the trunk of young apple trees, you need to pour a hill of soil with a height of 0.3-0.4 m. When snow appears, you need to additionally fill them with an area around the trunk of the apple tree.
Protective and preventive work carried out in time will help the apple tree survive the winter well, which will positively affect the condition of the tree and its productivity. Young trees are especially in need of protection.