Winter Maintenance of Fruit Trees

As we head into the holiday season, our fruit trees will slip into the slumber of winter dormancy. Maintenance for our fruit trees will become extremely limited. That said, fungus can still crop up at any time if we get too much rain. However, unless you are experiencing an active problem, I would not treat it. If you do have a fungal problem that develops, the best treatment is a liquid copper fungicide. Copper fungicide can be mixed with water in a pump sprayer and applied directly to foliage. For the proper application rates, please see the directions on the bottle. 

One treatment that I recommend for fruit trees in the winter is the application of agricultural dormancy oil. If you have any scale or other lingering problems, this should help resolve them. As a preventative treatment for spring aphid infestations, apply worm castings around the base of your fruit trees. If you have trouble with ants on your fruit trees, apply a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around each of your fruit trees. This treatment works efficiently to keep ants and other crawling insects out. Spraying around trees with an orange oil extract mixed with water also helps to keep ants out of your orchard.

For citrus trees, I also recommend a monthly application of a citrus micro-nutritional spray. citrus trees often suffer mineral deficiencies, especially in the wintertime and in areas with poor, depleted, or sandy soils. You can identify if your tree has a deficiency if you see yellow citrus leaves, which is called chlorosis. A tree can be deficient in minerals such as magnesium, sulfur, and calcium. Thankfully, these deficiencies of micronutrients can be easily solved with the foliar application of micronutrients. I hope this was helpful. Happy fruitscaping!!

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