Spring Care For Apple Trees According To The Rules. Pruning, Feeding, Protection. Photo

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Spring Care For Apple Trees According To The Rules. Pruning, Feeding, Protection. Photo
Spring Care For Apple Trees According To The Rules. Pruning, Feeding, Protection. Photo

Video: Spring Care For Apple Trees According To The Rules. Pruning, Feeding, Protection. Photo

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Video: How to Prep Your Fruit Trees in Spring 2023, January

The apple tree in our gardens is considered the most popular fruit crop. It is ahead of the distribution of cherries and pears, and its fruits are stored much longer than other trees in the garden, so the gardener begins to take care of the apple in the spring first of all. Apple trees, especially if they are still young, suffer from both winter frosts and hungry rodents, and their branches sometimes bend to the ground or even break under the weight of sleet. Therefore, she needs a lot of attention to herself. We will describe 10 steps of mandatory spring apple tree care in this article.

Spring care of apple trees
Spring care of apple trees


  • What care does an apple tree need in spring?
  • Sanitary pruning of apple trees
  • Whitewashing the apple tree
  • Watering apple trees in spring
  • Loosening the soil in the near-trunk strip
  • Removing weeds in the near-trunk strip
  • Mulching the trunk circle
  • Elimination of winter damage
  • Spring feeding of apple trees
  • Protecting the apple tree from pests and diseases
  • Protecting apple flowers from spring return frosts

What care does an apple tree need in spring?

In general, spring care for an apple tree is no different from caring for other trees. However, each operation on the list of activities for the care of this crop at the very beginning of the season is very important. Ultimately, their implementation is able to increase the immunity of the plant, enhance its ability to withstand a whole range of diseases and pests and give an excellent harvest of apples, which, if carefully harvested, can lie for quite a long time and delight with a fresh taste even in winter.

If we talk about the general stages of spring care for an apple tree, then this, of course, is sanitary pruning, whitewashing of the trunk and skeletal branches, watering, if necessary, the elimination of various damage left over from the winter period, fertilization, preventive treatments against pests and diseases, the fight against the first spring pests and diseases, as well as the protection of buds and blossoming flowers from spring return frosts. Let's consider each item from this list in detail.

1. Sanitary pruning of apple trees

Sanitary pruning of apple trees should be carried out as early as possible, it is highly desirable to complete it before the start of sap flow. All cuts must be done “on the ring”, that is, without leaving a hemp, which can turn into a hollow over time; use only sharp tools for pruning that do not pick up the bark.

To understand what to cut, you need to carefully examine the crown of the apple tree - the first step is to remove all dry shoots, broken, too thin and those that grow right in the middle of the crown (in the future, they will certainly lead to its thickening, the transition of the crop to the periphery of the crown and its decrease).

When carrying out sanitary pruning of apple trees, pay attention to tops - these are strictly vertically growing shoots that are formed, most often in trees older than five years, they do not bear fruit, but only draw off nutrients. It is better to remove the tops by cutting them into a ring, or choose a couple from the total mass and try to bend them at an angle close to 90 0 and fix them so. Over time, this position of the shoot will persist, it can be untied, and it will begin to bear fruit.

When sanitary pruning of apple trees, pay attention to shoots that deviate too sharply from the trunk - at angles less than 45 °. Such, most likely, will simply break under the load from the crop. You can already put props under them by making ordinary spears with an elastic band in the center, for example, from a bicycle camera, or tie these shoots to higher ones, thus giving them strength to break, or simply cut out if there are a lot of such shoots.

Try to prune the apple tree when a stable temperature is established, its sharp fluctuations stop, and if there are frosts during this period, the temperature should not be lower than ten degrees.

When pruning this or that branch, try to have a part of the shoot after pruning at the end of the bud directed upward and outward of the crown, so you will avoid thickening of the crown in the future.

Spring pruning of apple trees
Spring pruning of apple trees

2. Whitewashing the apple tree

Spring whitewashing of apple trees can be carried out both with lime and with white acrylic-based breathable garden paints.

It will not be superfluous to once again recall the benefits of spring whitewashing. It protects the trunk and skeletal branches from sudden changes in day and night temperatures, when the bark can not withstand and simply crack, fall off, and this does not bode well for the tree.

Whitewashing protects against rodents and a number of pests that will not attack whitewashed plants. This method can also cope with fungal diseases, especially if lime is used.

Remember that spring whitewashing can easily be washed away by rain, and you may need to repeat this process two or three times in the spring

Carry out the whitewashing always starting not from the top, but from the bottom and move to the first skeletal branches, trying to "capture" them too.

For young trees, whitewashing with lime can be dangerous, cause bark burns, and if you could not get the acrylic-based white garden paint, then whitewash the young trees with ordinary chalk, dissolving it thicker, bringing the composition to a creamy state.

3. Watering the apple tree in spring

This event is more important for the southern regions of Russia, where the snow melts very quickly and most of the moisture evaporates. At the same time, active absorption of nutrients from the soil dissolved in water by the roots begins, an ascending flow of nutrients occurs, leaves bloom, flowering begins, photosynthesis processes are activated.

Considering all this, if there is not enough moisture in the soil, and you are a resident of the south, or there was simply a little snowy winter, then every week you need to pour a bucket of water under each tree if it is younger than five years old, and twice as much if older. When doing this, keep an eye on the weather. So, if it is cloudy and it rains, then additional watering is not at all necessary.

4. Loosening the soil in the near-trunk strip

If everything is in order with moisture, then do not forget that the soil must breathe. In order not to disrupt the air exchange of the soil in the spring, the soil in the near-trunk strip of the apple tree should be loosened more often (at least once a week) so that a soil crust does not form. You can use a regular hoe for loosening. When loosening, in order not to damage the roots, the hoe should be buried no more than three or four centimeters.

5. Removal of weeds in the near-trunk strip

Weeds appear quite quickly and grow actively, and if the apple tree is more than five years old, then, in fact, you can ignore them, but just carefully, trying not to damage the trunk, mow (preferably with a sickle). But young seedlings can suffer from weeds, for them weeds can become competitors for food and moisture.

In addition, pests and even various fungal diseases can sit on weeds for the time being. It is better to weed weeds in young apple trees by hand after rain or watering, trying to pull them out entirely, then the next time they will not appear soon.

6. Mulching the trunk circle

Mulching is an important, necessary and simple step in caring for an apple tree in spring. The soil is usually mulched with humus; it is better not to use sawdust and especially sour peat in spring.

With the help of mulching, you can solve a number of problems: increase plant nutrition; retain moisture by mulching the soil surface after watering; inhibit the growth of weeds by mulching the soil after they have been removed.

By virtue of all of the above, this simple trick cannot be ignored. With the help of mulch, if you cover it with a layer of 5-6 cm, you can even save the delicate root system of young plants from freezing, if suddenly the frosts decide to return.

Mulching the apple tree trunk circle
Mulching the apple tree trunk circle

7. Elimination of winter damage

After winter, you can see the effects of sunburn, when the bark literally flakes off. In this case, you need to remove dead parts with a wooden scraper, treat the area with 2% copper sulfate, and the next day isolate all places with garden varnish and bandage.

Remember that it may not be possible to eliminate all damage the first time. To heal a large wound, the procedure will have to be repeated several times

8. Spring feeding of apple trees

In spring, the best fertilizing for an apple tree is a complex fertilizer, for example, nitroammofosk. Since there is enough melt water in the soil, top dressing can be applied dry as soon as the snow has completely melted. First, you need to loosen the soil in the near-trunk strip, then pour it with a bucket of room temperature water from a watering can (for even wetting), then scatter the fertilizer evenly.

Under an apple tree more than five years old, a tablespoon of fertilizer with a hill is needed, and half a tablespoon is enough for a tree less than five years old. After applying this fertilizer, it is advisable to level the soil and mulch with humus (with a layer of a couple of centimeters).

You can also carry out foliar feeding, for which you dilute 10 g of nitroammophoska in a bucket of water, fill a knapsack sprayer and process the plant - this is the norm for a plant older than five years, for processing younger ones, the rate must be halved.

9. Protection of apple trees from pests and diseases

Usually, in the spring, a whole series of preventive treatments against diseases and pests is carried out. They start with treatments with copper-containing preparations, it can be a 2% Bordeaux liquid or a 3% solution of copper sulfate. Trees should be sprayed with a spray bottle or knapsack sprayer, trying to moisten all branches completely.

Further, more serious drugs are used. For example, "Horus" is used against scab and moniliosis on an apple tree, for protection against powdery mildew - "Skor" and similar approved drugs.

Against pests such as the moth, when the years of individuals begin, plants can be treated with the drug "Alatar", which also helps against the leaf roll; "Ivanhoe" - will reliably protect against aphids, "Fitoverm" - will allow you to cope with ticks.

When treating apple trees against diseases and pests, strictly follow the instructions on the package.

In addition to chemicals, various biological preparations can be used, pheromone traps can be hung, trapping belts can be pasted - dry, adhesive, poisonous. The main thing is to replace them often with new ones or clean them.

Apple tree in spring under the snow
Apple tree in spring under the snow

10. Protection of apple flowers from spring return frosts

It is not uncommon for years when the return cold kills the flowers and leads to the fact that we do not get the harvest in the form of apples at all, no matter how much we care about the apple tree. It is difficult to help in any way, but you can try. The simplest and rather reliable option is to light smoky fires along the periphery of the site by a contract with the neighbors, if they do not mind, this can raise the air temperature in the garden by a couple of degrees and save the flowers from freezing. One drawback is that the weather must be calm and the fires must be kept up until the frost is gone.

Sometimes sprinkling helps, when all the trees are literally sprayed with tiny drops of water from a hose with a special nozzle. Water, falling on trees and flowers, freezes in the frost, giving its warmth to the plant.

We hope our article will help you in practice. And with the help of such simple measures in the spring, you can provide yourself with a decent harvest of apples both in summer and in autumn.

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