Friday, December 14, 2012

Winterizing Fruit Trees

The seasons on the calendar are moving from autumn to winter but the garden hasn't gotten the message yet.  Leaves are hanging on the deciduous fruit trees hampering the application of dormant spraying.  There is a very slim window of time to apply the oil until the buds begin to break.  Hopefully, a freeze will be in the forecast soon.  These trees need hours of cold temperatures in order to produce fruit --- good fruit.  Those cold temperatures also help kill off nasty pests that are still hanging around.
Rio Red Grapefruit
All the fruit trees get three applications to keep them healthy and pest free.  Even the citrus gets the treatment.  I was advised that keeping the citrus fruit on the trees during applications is harmless.  Farmer MacGregor will not hear of it; so the fruit will have to be harvested prior to that.  That's the silver lining for the application delay.  The citrus will continue to sweeten on the trees until the deciduous trees get naked.
Gardening question:  What is the term for when a fruit tree blooms a second time in a season producing fruit?  The Granny Smith Apple tree did that this year and produced some ornamental apples.
Granny Smith Apple 2nd crop 2012

1 comment:

Lisa Paul said...

Thanks for this. Just in time for me. Or maybe I'm late. I was planning to start working on winterizing the orchard next week, but we're getting some pretty cold temps now.