In your garden, fruit trees are among parasites’ favourite targets because of the abundance of essential minerals in fruits, which are loved by the most resistant parasites. With temperature variations between seasons, the fruit trees’ health deteriorates. In effect, they can become dull and dry up in the absence of regular treatment conducted with a specific product suitable to each type of tree. 

The treatment of fruit trees is periodic and varies depending on the season. Indeed, care in times of drought, or when the trees are leafless; differs from care given when the leaves grow abundantly. Thus, in summer and spring, fruit trees are treated to stimulate leaf development. In winter, however, these trees are treated to withstand the cold and to prepare the branches for spring vegetation.

Basic care before seasonal treatment  

Whatever the season is, fruit trees need special care to keep their splendour. Thus, prior to seasonal treatments, it is essential to regularly maintain the tree’s bark by brushing it with a wire brush or a scrubber brush to remove the crust deposited by lichens and mosses. If you have a sprayer, apply a solution of formalin Codex, iron sulfate or potassium permanganate mixed with lime. This should be carried out in accordance with a well-defined dosage. Both substances generally build up on the bark once the tree begins to be invaded by parasites. When you brush, you may notice a few wounds on the tree’s trunk. It is imperative to apply the healing products on the wounds for the sap flow to be effective. These products are nothing more than putty or Stockholm tar. Furthermore, although some mummified fruit remain hanging on the tree, remove them quickly to prevent them from spreading an infection. Finally, remember to regularly collect dead leaves that fall at the foot of the tree.

Treat your fruit trees according to the seasons 

In winter when the leaves of fruit trees are all fallen, the treatment procedures consist of cleaning the trees to prevent the parasites’ larvae from settling in. Indeed, if the trees are not healthy before the arrival of spring and the first leaves, the infection will reach the fruit which will not be able to grow. Thus, the winter treatment begins with hoeing the earth, followed by composting to obtain humus-rich soil. After cleaning the bark with a brush, apply whitewash to the trunk to eliminate the remaining parasites nestled between the bark lines. Then, put sticky tape around the bark to prevent hatched larvae on the ground from slowly progressing towards the branches at the approach of spring. To treat the branches, apply white oil to eliminate larvae. As this product is corrosive, dilute it according to the suggested dosage. It is applied twice a year: first in December and again in February, at which point the dosage is decreased. However, cleaning is not necessary every winter and can be done every two or three years.

In spring and summer, most treatments are applied as preventive measures to prevent new pests from infecting leaves and fruits. They are similar to those applied in winter. However, for curative purposes, more powerful products are used to eliminate pests in fruit trees. Indeed, to kill the boll weevil, the parasite responsible for apple tree infections, a PCS-based slurry mixed with synthetic organic insecticide is sprayed on the tree. To treat pomaceous fruit trees, to get rid of worms and fruit scab that infects pear trees, mildew, peach leaf curl, or other bacterial diseases, use a copper-based fungicide called Bordeaux mixture. This slurry must be applied in February, before the buds start flowering and especially when it is not raining. The blue marks that remain after application are normal.

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Published in Orchard by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011