Even those who have never dealt with a personal plot know that tree trunks are usually whitewashed in spring. But not every gardener knows that in addition to spring processing, it is necessary to carry out autumn processing. Whitewashing apple trees in autumn is no less important than in spring. It has a protective function, protecting tree trunks from hordes of insects and pests, and also protects the bark from sunburn. In order for apple trees to be less susceptible to diseases and bear fruit well, they need help.
Why whitewash apple trees in autumn
Spring whitewashing is a common thing. And everyone knows that trees are treated during this period in order to protect them from the destructive actions of numerous insects and pests. Whitewashing apple trees in autumn has the following goals:
- Protection against fungi and spores of various etiologies;
- Destruction of insect larvae;
- Sunburn protection;
- Freeze protection;
- Protection against small rodents, hares.
In the fall, all insects seek shelter for the winter. The tree bark becomes a wonderful haven for them. The untreated and unprotected bark of apple trees is an open gateway not only for insects, but also for infection, fungi and spores. If the trees are not treated, then after a decrease in yield, a quick death of the fruit tree can be expected.
Sharp temperature changes, sudden winter thaws, a large difference between night and day temperatures - it is impossible to predict what else apple trees have to endure in a few months of winter. Sunburns are not uncommon. You can get this defeat even in winter, when the bright sun heats the trees. If there are even small dark brown or black areas of the bark on the bark, then it is in this place that the apple tree will get burned. And the white color reflects the direct rays like a mirror. Thus, in whitewashed apple trees, the risk of injury is significantly reduced.
Many rodents, including hares, do not mind eating tree bark in winter. And apple trees are no exception in this case. Unprotected trees will attract them first.
If you are faced with a rhetorical question: when is it better to whitewash apple trees, in autumn or spring, the answer will be unequivocal. Fruit trees need protection all year round, which means that apple trees need to be whitened at least twice a year.
They begin to prepare fruit trees for winter in the second half of September. It is necessary to finish whitewashing the apple trees before the onset of frost.
Where to begin
Just applying lime or a whitening compound to the trunks does not mean at all that you have fully prepared and whitewashed the trees for the cold weather. Immediately before whitewashing the apple trees in the fall, it is necessary to carry out a number of preparatory work:
- Barrel cleaning;
- Sealing wounds and cracks.
And only after that it will be possible to start whitewashing. All work, including the whitewashing process itself, requires a lot of time and effort. It is advisable to withstand the allotted time between stages. And it is necessary to finish all work in the garden before the onset of frost. Therefore, start processing apple trees in advance. Early to mid-October is the ideal time to whitewash apple trees in the fall.
Barrel inspection and cleaning
Each crack on the trunk of an apple tree is, in fact, a breeding ground for all kinds of diseases. To prevent possible scab or fruit rot infestation, the trunks should be inspected and thoroughly cleaned.
To do this, you will need: a plastic spatula and a film or tarp. Iron brushes, spatulas and knives are not suitable for cleaning at all - they can injure trees. Spread the material around the apple tree in order to subsequently collect all the cleaned off debris. It is undesirable to leave it under a tree.
Please note that small pieces of bark may fly off during operation. Therefore, take protective measures: wear special glasses and gloves. Examine the apple tree for cracks, damage, and even the slightest holes. All of them must be carefully cleaned, removing the layer that is easily removed. Remove pieces of moss, lichen, and loose pieces of bark from the trunks.
Use a wooden knife or fine wood chips to clean narrow, hard-to-reach areas. When you have completely peeled the apple trees, collect everything, even small pieces of bark. You can, of course, just remove the rubbish from the garden. But to prevent the spread of pathogens, it is better to burn it.
Disinfection of trunks
After cleaning the apple tree, it is imperative to disinfect it in order to destroy all insects.
It is necessary to carry out disinfection measures in dry, calm weather. Pay attention to the weather forecast - precipitation in the next 2-3 days after processing is undesirable. They will simply wash away all your labors. Remember to take protective measures: wear plastic goggles, a respirator, and rubber gloves.
As a disinfectant, you can use:
- Bordeaux mixture;
Important! Young apple trees, on which the bark has not yet fully formed, is not recommended to be peeled.
Spray the trunk of the apple tree and skeletal branches to a height of 1.5-2 meters from the ground. You need to apply the composition in a very thin layer. It is best to use a reinforced sprayer in this case. The main thing is that during processing the disinfectant should be evenly applied to the trunks, and not dripped off.
Many gardeners use a soap-ash solution to disinfect fruit trees. In addition to the fact that it does not require financial costs, it can rightfully be called universal. Ash perfectly disinfects, and at the same time feeds apple trees with potassium and phosphorus.
Laundry soap in the amount of 50 grams for the preparation of the solution, grate on a coarse grater. The water should be very hot, almost boiling water. Add grated soap and ash in the amount of 2.5-3 kg to a bucket of water. Stir the mixture well until the soap is completely dissolved. Let the solution cool.
When the solution has cooled, take a small bundle of hay or unnecessary old rags. Dip into the mixture and apply to the bark of the apple tree. In this case, you can not save, but practically wash the trunks with it to the height to which your hand reaches.
Let the trees rest a bit after processing. The next stage of work can be started at least 5-7 days after disinfection.
Sealing cracks and wounds
It is imperative to close up all the cracks and wounds on the apple trees. They are not only a haven for pests. Through open wounds, pathogenic bacteria and microorganisms quickly penetrate under the bark.
It is very easy to prepare a wound dressing mixture. You will need a 2: 1 ratio of clay and manure and some straw dust. Dilute this composition with a little water and mix thoroughly. Carefully cover all wounds, cracks, damage on apple trees with a clay mash.
If you do not have the necessary ingredients at hand, you can use any putty for fruit trees. A wide range of these products is presented in specialized stores. The "RanNet" pasta has received great recognition among gardeners. They are also perfect for processing open cuts after pruning apple trees in the fall.
After you have repaired all the damage, let it dry well. It is not recommended to start whitewashing apple trees earlier than 1-1.5 weeks after the putty.
As mentioned above, the compositions for whitewashing apple trees may differ. Why? Each solution fulfills its function:
- Destruction of insects and their larvae;
- Sunburn protection;
- Protection from hares and small rodents.
It is up to you to decide which one to use.
Standard composition for whitewashing
The main function of this whitening composition is to kill insects and protect apple trees from their harmful effects. For kneading you will need: quicklime, clay, water.
The ratio of lime and clay should be 2: 1.
First of all, you need to extinguish the lime with water. When the solution has cooled, add the clay and knead the composition well. The consistency of the whitening solution should be like sour cream. Its advantage is that apple tree trunks covered with a sufficiently thick layer will be the most protected, and it will not be washed away with the first rain.
In the absence of clay, it can be replaced with glue. Casein or wood glue is perfect as an additive for whitewashing apple trees.
Composition for protecting barrels from burns
This whitening composition has good reflectivity. The sun's rays will not harm your apple trees if they are treated with the following composition:
- Water - 2 liters;
- PVA glue (or stationery) - 2 tbsp. l .;
- Lime "fluff" - 300 gr.
Important! If young seedlings grow on your site, keep in mind that it is undesirable to use lime to whitewash apple trees, so as not to burn the delicate bark. It is better to add chalk to the whitening solution.
If necessary, the glue can be replaced by 100 gr. milk.
All ingredients must be thoroughly mixed until smooth.
If you add 1 tbsp to this solution. l. DDT powder and 1 tbsp. iron or copper sulfate, then the mixture will acquire an additional function. It will protect apple trees from various diseases and fungi.
Rodent control solution
The composition for whitewashing apple trees, prepared according to this recipe, is rather universal. First, it destroys pests and their numerous offspring. Secondly, thanks to him, it is possible to carry out timely prevention against putrefactive diseases.
- PVA glue and PVA dispersion in a 1: 1 ratio. One serving - 0.5-1 glass.
- Iron or copper sulfate - 2 tbsp. l.
- Water - 2 liters.
With the addition of a few drops of "Knockdown" or a small portion of Creolin, it will protect apple trees from the invasion of small rodents and hares, destroy all fungal spores, as well as ant eggs laid under the bark and in microcracks.
The solution must be mixed thoroughly. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and stir again. Now you can start whitewashing the apple trees.
Whitewashing of trunks
For whitewashing apple trees, it is important to choose the right brush. It is desirable that the width of the brush be approximately equal to the width of the trunk. In this case, there will be no overspending of the whitewashing solution, and the work will be done many times faster. For convenience, you can use a spray gun.
Important! Apple trees should be whitened in autumn only in dry weather. It is desirable that for the next two or three days the forecast is favorable, otherwise the entire whitening composition will be washed away by the first rain.
It is necessary to whitewash the apple trees correctly, starting from the bottom, gradually going up. Please note that you need to whitewash not only the trunks, but also the skeletal branches up to a height of 25-30 cm from the base.
The author of the video will tell you about why to whitewash apple trees in autumn and how to do it correctly:
All work on cleaning and whitewashing apple trees in the fall must be carried out annually. With regular maintenance, your trees will always be strong and healthy, which will immediately affect the yield and taste of the fruit. Moreover, all of the above activities will significantly extend the life of your trees.