Autumn apple tree care
Caring for an apple tree in autumn involves preparing a garden culture for winter. The main emphasis of gardeners is on dressing and treatment from pests and diseases. Compliance with the basic rules allows you to avoid common mistakes in the preparatory process.
Autumn apple tree care
Autumn pruning of an apple tree is one of the important points of preparation for winter.
This method allows to reduce the load from the tree crown, and in the future to avoid breaking branches under the weight of snow.
The procedure is planned 3 weeks before the first frost (this time is enough to cut the slices, and the branches subsequently do not freeze);
- cut the branches, shortening young shoots and living branches in the first year, two-year-old apple tree and trees 3-4 years old - by ¼ length, in trees age 5-7 years - 1/3 length, in old apple trees (more than 7 years) - ½ length;
- for thinning the tree crown, branches intersecting each other are shortened;
- cut off young shoots that appeared over the summer from the trunk and from the surface roots;
- top branches and those that grow downward or away from the trunk are cut out;
- completely remove broken off, having mechanical damage and signs of disease and attack pests of the branch.
Autumn pruning of apple branches is one way to rejuvenate an adult tree.
Use a sharp garden tool, make a cut at an acute angle. The place of cut is treated with an antiseptic solution and coated with garden varnish or oil paint.
Whitewashing of the trunk of the apple tree in the lower part is also an important aspect of autumn care. The procedure allows you to protect the garden culture from frost, protects against pests and infections from settling in the tree bark and creates an obstacle from sunburn when the first sun rays appear in the spring.
Preliminary, the tree bark is cleaned, freeing the trunk from dead remains, under which parasites and their larvae often settle. Before trimming, the trunk is moistened, so that during the removal of the bark of the tree, live tissues are not damaged.
Better cleaned after heavy rains.
When everything is done, the apple tree can be whitened.
Autumn top dressing and watering
Care for apple trees in the fall includes two mandatory procedures: top dressing and watering.
Pre-winter top dressing begins 2-3 weeks after harvest. It replenishes the forces spent by the tree and provides mineral nutrition for the coming winter.
Apple trees are fed in autumn at the same time as digging the soil, introducing fertilizer complexes, which include potassium and phosphorus.
Autumn watering is required if the summer is dry. Moistening the soil before the onset of winter increases the frost resistance of the garden culture.
Last watering in October
A sufficient amount of moisture should be absorbed by the trees before the onset of frost, because they try to conduct the final irrigation of soil around the apple trunk around October.
In order to properly prepare the apple tree for winter, it is necessary to provide protection against pests and diseases.
Such events are carried out on dry and sunny days, strictly after the leaves fall, when the trees go into a state of rest, and the kidneys are closed, preventing toxic chemicals from entering the tissue cells. If precipitation occurs within 3 days after spraying, the procedure must be repeated.
Spraying apple trees from adult parasites and their larvae allows spraying with pesticides and other drugs that have a detrimental effect on them. Among the products often used for this purpose are copper and iron sulfate, which are pre-diluted in warm water heated to 40 ° C, and then diluted with cold water to the required concentration.
The norm of use depends on whether the garden culture has been affected:
- for healthy apple trees 200-300 g per 10 liters of water;
- for diseased trees, concentrations above 400-500 g per 10 liters of water.
Treatment of urea or others with a similar composition of fungicidal and insecticidal complex effects helps to create a garden culture for winter protection against viral, fungal and bacterial diseases. Spraying is carried out after the final harvest of apples and complete fall of the leaves.
Standards of use depend on whether the garden culture was susceptible to disease:
- when the apple trees were not sick, 200-300 g of urea per 10 liters of water is enough;
- Trees affected by infections are treated with a more concentrated urea solution - 500-700 g per 10 liters of water.
In the fight against scab, powdery mildew, black cancer and fruit rot, they also use iron sulfate spraying.
The application rate is similar to pest treatment. In this case, it is permissible to use iron sulfate with urea at the same time, preparing a tank mixture (200 g of each component per 10 liters of water).
Cleaning vegetation preserved after summer and autumn leaf fall allows not only to clean the surrounding area, but also to prevent the larvae of harmful insects, fungal spores and pathogens of bacterial and viral infections from falling in fallen foliage and small branch.
Along with fallen leaves and dry branches, rotten apples are also subject to harvesting from the garden area in autumn, which often act as a wintering ground for infectious agents. They should be removed from the soil and picked off from apple trees.
Harmful insects and pathogens hiding in plant debris for the winter retain their vital activity and, when heat sets in in spring, they begin active reproduction and development.
After harvesting, the tree begins to prepare for wintering.
Remove plant debris and other debris from the soil should be within a radius of 1.5 m from the place of growth of the tree.
Winter horticulture shelter
Warming is a mandatory winter preparation procedure for both adults and young apple trees. Thanks to this, you can protect them from the coming frosts and keep them healthy.
Shelter of apple trees begins after the trees have finished the process of sap flow and the onset of complete rest. Usually this occurs at a time when the ambient temperature drops to -10'C.
The root system and the lower part of the trunk are subject to shelter of adult trees, for this:
- pre-loosen the soil around the trunk circle;
- roots on the surface are covered with peat, sawdust or manure;
- In the lower part of the trunk, a bulge hillock 0.35-0.4 m high is formed, around it, when snow falls, a snow hill will form, which will serve as additional warming of the tree.
Young seedlings planted in the spring do not have time to grow stronger and often suffer from winter frosts. They should be covered with material that is wrapped around the trunk and secured with tape. Fit:
- several paper layers;
- roofing material;
- burlap or canvas.
Some gardeners do insulation of the trunks with their own hands with the help of spruce or reeds.
In addition, for winter, young seedlings are tied to a support installed next to them, which helps to protect their scrapping under the influence of winds and snow.
Features of care for different regions
The procedure for preparing the apple orchard for winter varies in individual regions of Russia.
The middle strip of Russia
Many gardeners do not insulate the garden culture for the winter and do not cover it with improvised means, limiting during autumn care only fertilizing, pruning and watering. Not to use covering material and not to create additional conditions for protection against frost allows the warm climate of the middle zone.
However, more careful attention in these regions should be given to treatments for pests and pathogens, as in warm climates with high humidity, the risk of apple damage by parasites and the appearance of diseases increases significantly.
Apple trees for the winter should be insulated
The temperate climate of Central Russia allows you to successfully grow different varieties of apples, observing the basic rules for caring for the garden crop.
It is necessary to additionally protect trees from frosty winters, which often happen in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk and other areas.
Garden culture should be insulated, especially this rule applies to fragile seedlings.
Prepare for winter and look after the garden in Central Russia immediately after harvest, starting with mineral fertilizing. At the same time, they try to treat the trees with chemical agents until the first days of November, while a positive ambient temperature is maintained.
Ural and Siberia
Frosty winters in the Urals and Siberia require careful autumn care from gardeners: it is necessary to cover the apple tree, while the height of the trunk insulation should be at least 1.0-1.5 m from the surface of the soil.
For these regions, it is preferable to choose varieties resistant to winter cold, for example, Altai souvenir, Gorno-Altaysky, etc.
The height of the warming hills around the near-stem circle of the plant from manure, sawdust or peat should be at least 0.35 m. The seedling of the columnar variety is often completely covered with polyethylene or burlap.
Starting from the first snowfall, snow is thrown off to the trunk circle, which is additionally compacted. Snow cover will act as an effective protection of the root system from the cold.
How to avoid mistakes
A typical mistake is the desire of inexperienced gardeners to leave fallen leaves and small branches in order to create additional heating of the root system of apple trees for the winter period.
Use the remains of vegetation as a way of warming is permissible only when it has been pre-treated from pests, their larvae, fungal spores and pathogens of bacterial and viral diseases.
The decay of foliage under the thickness of the snow contributes to the creation of favorable conditions for the active life of pathogenic bacteria.
Another common mistake is the incorrect selection of apple varieties relative to the climatic conditions of the growing region. This leads to frequent violations of the tree bark of the trees (frost holes), which does not withstand frosts.
In areas with severe winters, apple trees cover almost the entire length of the trunk.
Competent care for the apple tree allows you to protect it from freezing and maintain it throughout the winter without losing productivity and immunity.