Preparing Your Fruit Trees for Spring
Spring is coming, even if it doesn’t feel like it with the extremely low temperatures we’ve been having. Now is the perfect time to prepare your fruit trees for the warmer temperatures and a productive growing season.
Testing Your Soil
One of the first steps we take at Evergreen Arborists is to test your soil and your fruit trees and measure its pH level. If the soil isn’t at the right pH level, it’s best to make adjustments now rather than later. Fruit trees seem to perform at their best in soil that is somewhere between 6.0 and 6.5 pH. This means, even a slight change in your soil could yield larger, more succulent fruit.
Late winter is also a good time to apply conditioners to the soil. Additives such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium need time to be absorbed and spread evenly throughout the soil. Applying them weeks before the growing season is the best bet to allow the roots to properly take in the different nutrients.
Expanding Your Fruit Trees
If you intend to add to your orchards, it’s best to begin preparations now. Despite the cold conditions and the poor appearance of the trees, late winter is actually a good time to plant any bare root trees. Because of the cold, the sap that ordinarily could freeze in place and kill the tree, is not flowing. You can also add some protection against the cold if necessary.
It’s not a good idea to add anything that would stimulate the tree, because if it comes out of its dormant state, it may not survive the cold. The best form of freeze protection is to wrap the tree in dry blankets (maybe also a tarp or thin plastic to shield from the rain), taking care not to break any of the branches. If the blankets get wet, remove them and replace them. Evergreen Arborists can assist you with planning and expanding your fruit trees.
Pruning Your Fruit Trees
Winter exposes dead branches and issues within your fruit trees, so it is an ideal time of year to prune them. It’s also a good idea to clean up any branches that rub against one another. Because pruning fruit trees in the winter runs the risk of exposing the fresh bark to the wind, it’s best to speak with a trained arborist that can help with tree pruning.
Insect pests can destroy a fruit crop or kill a fruit tree entirely. Their life cycle continues throughout the year, even during the winter. For effective insect control, a regular spraying program must be put in place. Most fruit trees are susceptible to pests, knowing which pests infect fruit trees, their life cycle, and the correct pesticides (even organic ones) to use, will help you have a productive and bountiful season.
With proper care and technique, as well as ensuring that you take the time now to prepare your trees, you will have a great harvest later this year. Our specialists at Evergreen Arborists are happy to come out and provide a free estimate and guidance to help your fruit trees grow and flourish.