Horticultural Gardening Tips/Fruit trees
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Easy pruning tip: cut half of current years growth during December. Pruning markedly increases fruit on old fruitless apple trees. Beware of branches breaking due to too much fruit - take off fruit or stake before breakages. Thin fruit on heavily laden trees - to discourage bi-annual fruiting (when trees only give fruit once every 2 or 3 years). Aphids (black fly) damage: leaves curl up, shrivel and die. Spray with Pravado during spring. Water well during summer drought.
Water copiously when forming fruit to prevent tree deliberately shedding unripened fruit. Uneven watering (too dry then too wet) cracks/splits fruit. Fertilise well in spring otherwise tree often struggles to put on new leaves. Replenish lime (more lime required than for apples and pears) using calcified seaweed. Throughly spray foliage regularly every month with seaweed extract & dissolved phostrogen. When young, ensure soil never dries out. Water thoroughly with seaweed solution when planting, regularly during first 3 years and cover soil with plastic mulch. Be careful of soil cracking up during dry weather - plant becomes locked into its own block of dry soil. Very difficult to re-wet soil (water goes down crack). Rabbits very destructive - total defoliation of branches within reach. Protect using chicken wire rolled into cyclinder and anchored with bamboo cane. Protect fruit from birds. Aphids (black fly) damage: leaves curl up, shrivel and die. Spraying with Pravado seems to work without damaging tree. Ants damage fruit by eating. Protect tree by applying sticky bands 3ft above ground or by pasting non-sticking grease to trunk. Never prune in winter - to avoid silver leaf fungus disease and bacterial canker. Prune roots by inserting spade as deep as possible, in circle 1m away from tree - to prompt new roots to grow and branch out. Water copiously during months after root pruning. Consider adding mycorrhizal fungi to roots during planting. Tie down branches ("festooning") so they're as horizontal as possible - to generate more fruit buds.
Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
Very hardy. Protect from slugs and rabbits. Both totally defoliate branches within reach. Grows vigorously. Foliage eaten by rabbits/slugs regrows quickly and mmediately once protected - use chicken wire round plant, fastened with bamboo in ground.
Hardy but requires warm summers to fruit. Very slow to resprout during spring after winter dormancy - protection from frost may help. Fruits require bletting (leaving on tree until very very ripe) otherwise they are very astringent.
Similar tips to those of apples. Requires warmer climate than apples. More difficult to fruit than apples. New plants seem to take 2-3 years to start fruiting compared to apple trees. Protect blossom from frost (use fleece). Pear blossom is earlier than on apples. Frosted blossom will not give fruit. Help blossom pollination using fine paintbrush. Fragrant, bright nearby flowers might (which flower whilst pear tree blossoms) might help bring in more natural pollinators. Try hyancinth. Throughly spray foliage regularly every month with seaweed extract & dissolved phostrogen. Seaweed extract works as stimulant, the Phostrogen as foliar food. Prevent all weeds, especially grass. Aphids: black aphids strongly retard leaf growth during spring. Destroy using Provado.