Looking for ways to take care of your fruit trees in the orchard during the month of August? We've got you covered! In this guide, we will discuss some essential tasks that need to be carried out to ensure the health and proper growth of your fruit trees. From pruning to protecting your fruits from pests, let's dive into the details.
Prune the fruit trees!
While winter is typically the recommended time to prune apple trees, pruning them in the summer can also be beneficial. This practice promotes the formation of fruit buds, especially for well-established apple or pear trees. By making a few simple and well-placed cuts, you can improve fruiting and limit the tree's size. However, it is important to keep your fruit trees compact. The best time for summer pruning is late July or August when the lower third of each shoot has become woody and firm. This summer pruning will make your tree more comfortable and provide more nutritional resources for fruit development, resulting in a more fruitful harvest.
Now, let's focus on one of the favorite fruit trees of the French: the apple tree. Some apple tree varieties, such as Starkinson, Reine des Reinettes, Jonagold, Melrose, Elstar, Idared, and Gala, have an upright or semi-upright growth habit. These trees require a thinning prune to allow proper aeration and sunlight exposure for fruit ripening. If the tree is well-established, it is also recommended to remove the small branches that grow below the main branches.
On the other hand, if you have semi-drooping or drooping apple tree varieties like Belle de Boskoop, Golden, Pomme de fer, Reinette rouge de Bretagne, or Curadou, you should remove branches that overlap and hinder each other. Don't forget to cut off the downward branches as well. This pruning technique will help maintain the tree's shape and promote healthy fruit growth.
Protect your fruits from pests!
One of the challenges of having fruit trees is dealing with pests, especially wasps. While wasps can be beneficial in the garden as they attack flies and caterpillars, they become a problem when they target fruit trees. They sting the apples, enter the fruits, and devour them, causing significant damage. The rotting fruits can also lead to brown rot.
To trap wasps, you can create a simple trap using a plastic bottle. Here's what you need to do:
- Start by cutting the head off a plastic bottle.
- Wrap a copper wire around the bottle to hang it later.
- Create three wire supports and attach them to the bottle.
- Fill the bottle with beer or sweetened water.
- Hang the trap in the fruit tree.
This trap will attract and trap the wasps, preventing them from causing further damage to your fruits.
Graft a fruit tree!
If you're up for a more advanced task, consider grafting a fruit tree. The best time to graft common pome fruit trees like apple or pear trees is usually at the end of winter, in February and March. During this period, the vegetation restarts, and there is a significant sap flow, making it ideal for grafting. The grafting materials should be collected during the dormant period in winter and stored in a cool place, partly buried in the ground near a north-facing wall.
However, for stone fruit trees, it is better to wait until the end of summer, like August, for grafting. To increase the chances of a successful graft, make sure to provide regular watering and a favorable ambient temperature in the garden.
By following these tasks and taking care of your fruit trees in the orchard, you can ensure their healthy growth and maximize your future harvest. Enjoy the process and the delicious fruits that await you!
Hi, I'm Michael, a passionate writer and editor at The Daily Herald. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, I love bringing articles to life, ensuring our readers are captivated from the very first sentence. In fact, just the other day, I stumbled upon a fascinating anecdote about a famous chef that added an unexpected twist to my latest food review. Working with the talented team at The Daily Herald truly allows me to indulge my passion for writing and explore new stories every day.