|Lowering the height of fruit trees|
Pruning: begin pruning for production. Each type of fruit tree is pruned differently. You must know where your fruit is being produced on the tree that you are pruning.
|4 to 8 inches of mulch on the orchard|
|Fruit trees at Orchard irrigated by modified flooding:|
bubbler and basin
|Asparagus turning brown in the winter|
|Applying compost to the raised beds|
Compost planting beds to be rototilled. Those beds which have not been planted should be prepped for next season. Use a high grade of compost to improve the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Incorporate a high phosphorus fertilizer in the planting row or in the backfill when planting transplants.
Borer control. This time of year concentrate on removing borer damage from fruit trees. Look for borer damage on the upper surfaces of limbs, particularly of peach, nectarine and an apricot. Using a sharp, sterilized knife remove the damaged wood from these areas. Be sure to cut all the way down to fresh wood when removing damaged wood. Let the tree heal by itself. Do not apply pruning paint but you could apply whitewash.
|Whitewash applied to fruit trees|
Dormant oil application. Dormant oil is an insecticide made from petroleum products used in organic production. The oil itself is not toxic but spraying it on the limbs and trunk of fruit trees helps to suffocate overwintering, usually soft bodied, insects that are pests of tree fruits. Usually to applications are made during the winter months.
Weed control. Weeds that are living close to your fruit trees provide homes for overwintering insects. Once your trees begin growing in the spring, these insects move from weeds to your trees. Keep in areas near your fruit trees without weeds.
|Borere control with a sharp knife|
Pull wood mulch away from the trunks of young trees about a foot. Wood mulch that gathers around the trunks of small trees can damage them.
|Limb spreaders on a young apple tree|
Remove any stakes from trees planted early in the year. Fruit trees that are planted correctly and are not overgrown in their containers will need staking for only one season. If your trees have not become established after one season, there is a problem.
Remove limb spreaders that were used earlier in the year. Limbs spreaders are used to increase a limbs angle of attachment to the trunk of the tree. Ideally, this should be a 45° angle. Limbs spreaders can be applied to the tree now but there is less danger of breakage in larger limbs when the sap is flowing in March. Ideally they should be applied when the limbs are one to two years old.