Posted on Dec 5, 2023 at 2:04 pm by Oliver C
Fruit trees are exposed to inclement weather, especially frost and snow, during the winter months. To protect them and limit future crop loss, you can implement various protection methods adapted to each situation.
Table of Contents
Pre-winter preparation: Prepare the ground for the cold season
Before winter arrives, dedicating time to pre-winter preparation for your fruit trees is a crucial step for their overall health. This preparation begins with soil maintenance, by eliminating weeds that could compete with your trees for nutrients and water. Then, careful pruning of dead or damaged branches is necessary to promote the growth of new shoots in the spring.
In addition, if your soil is deficient in nutrients, consider fertilizing your trees, making sure to use products that are suitable for their specific needs. A solid pre-winter foundation ensures that your trees are in better shape to face the rigors of winter.
To ensure optimal health for your trees and anticipate a first harvest next summer, it is also wise to consider tips for planting your fruit trees before the frost. This will allow you to maximize the yield of your trees and fully enjoy the upcoming harvest season.
The crucial importance of winter protection: Preserve your trees against devastating elements
Winter protection for fruit trees should never be neglected, as it constitutes an essential barrier against the potential ravages of winter. Low temperatures, intense frost, and strong winds can seriously damage your trees, resulting in the loss of buds, branches, and even entire trees.
These winter damages can also significantly reduce the quantity of fruits that your trees produce in the next harvest season.
By investing time and resources in winter protection, you ensure the survival of your trees and maintain the health of your orchard, allowing you to enjoy an abundant harvest and superior quality fruits in the following spring.
How to effectively protect your fruit trees in winter?
1/ Installation of a thick curtain for your fruit trees
To protect your fruit trees from external elements, you can install a thick curtain that covers all the branches down to the ground. Use slats positioned obliquely resting on the support structure to hold this veil against a wall or fence.
This method is particularly recommended if your fruit tree is still young or dwarf.
2/ Covering with a winter veil for young trees
- Position a temporary screen between the posts, for example, bamboo or reed canes.
- Completely cover the tree with a winter veil.
- Once pruned, small fruits planted in open ground can also be covered with a winter veil if necessary.
3/ Protecting potted fruit trees
Potted fruit trees are more sensitive to frost than those planted in open ground, as their roots are more exposed. To avoid problems related to frost, follow these tips:
- If the pot is not glazed, surround it with an open-bottom wooden frame filled with dead leaves or straw to isolate the pot from the ground and prevent water from rising through capillarity.
- Elevate the pot using boards or wooden slabs.
- Wrap the pot with cardboard, bubble wrap, old mats, thick jute fabric, etc.
This way, terracotta pots and the trees they contain will be able to pass the winter without any problems.
4/ Wrap the graft with straw sheath or non-woven fabric
Finally, you can also protect the graft area by wrapping this part of the tree with a straw sheath or non-woven fabric held in place by a metal ring, without tightening too much. You can find this type of protection online, available in different lengths (2, 6, 8, or 12 meters).
Do not hesitate to consult a professional if you need additional advice to properly protect your fruit trees during the winter.