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How to Care for Fruit Trees During the Winter

Fruit trees provide an abundance of healthy and fresh food for you and your family throughout the warmer months. When the weather turns colder, however, it’s time to turn your attention to proper care of your trees so that they can start producing again in the spring. When done correctly, winter care of fruit trees doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. With a few simple tips, you’ll have healthy fruit trees that produce for years to come.

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Keep Them Clean

Just because you’re done with your tree for the season doesn’t mean bacteria and pests will miss out on a chance to destroy your tree. Typically, these pests can be found hiding in dead leaves and unpicked fruit on and under your tree. That’s why you should take the time to clean up around the base of your tree so that these pests don’t have a place to hide. Also, make sure to pick any leftover fruit so that your tree can cover over the openings where the fruit was attached before the coldest weather strikes.

Shape Them Up

Winter is the best time to prune your fruit trees because they are dormant during this season. Make sure to remove any sprouts coming from around the trunk and try to do your best to remove excess growth in the canopy. When pruning, try to make sure you use sharp and clean blades so that you don’t introduce diseases into the tree. Finally, if you need to prune a larger tree, you may want to consider utilizing a tree care company so that you don’t find yourself in an unsafe situation.

Check for Early Frost

Sometimes, winter creeps in slowly and you don’t have to deal with frost until the season is well underway. Sometimes, though, winter frosts come early, meaning that you need to protect the remaining fruit on your tree. In most cases, a simple sheet over the structure of the tree will be enough to prevent frost damage. For brand new trees, it’s best if you can bring the tree into a greenhouse or garage.

Protect the Foundation

If you live in an area that sees exceptionally cold winters, you want to be sure to protect the root system of your fruit trees, especially if they are only a few years old. To do this, put down a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help insulate the ground immediately around the tree. It’s important to avoid building a large layer of mulch right next to the trunk since this can cause the trunk to rot over time.

Pay Attention

For the most part, your fruit tree will tell you what it needs to stay healthy. To understand what it’s trying to tell you, though, you need to be willing to pay attention. Check your tree on occasion for anything unusual so that you can take care of any issues before they get out of hand. This will allow your tree to grow to maturity, producing a lot of delicious fruit along the way.

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Author Bio:  Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being outdoors and researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

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