Optimized pruning, fertilization, spraying programs, and harvest lead easily to a healthy apple trees orchard. Debbane Frères, having high expertise in this field, has created a full program to help all apple growers to maximize their production with a healthy orchard.
Pruning is one of the most important practices in apple orchards.
The benefits of pruning are many;
- By the removal of dead leaves and branches, it improves air circulation and allows better sunlight assimilation for better photosynthesis and thus helps to maximize the production of apple trees
- A clear canopy makes the tree less attractive to certain pests namely the Mediterranean Fruit fly which favors shady areas of the trees
- It keeps the tree at a convenient height for an easier harvest.
Balanced nutrition is important to prevent physiological disorders and harvest healthy, highly graded fruits. At several stages, fertilization should take a major role in extracting the best products from a tree, especially in winter, with slow-release fertilizers. At the flowering stage, fertilizers high in phosphate will strengthen the flowers and ensure a high percentage of gall formation. Then, at the fruiting stage, fertilizers containing high potassium need to be applied to avoid apple fruit crinkles and to get a firm, well-colored fruit.
Apple orchards are prone to many pests and diseases that can affect the growth of the trees, kill the trees and certainly rob the harvest.
Good hygiene and monitoring of pests are key for prevention and effective control.
Aphids, Mites, Codling moths, and the Mediterranean Fruit Fly are the most dreadful pests that can plague your apple orchard and make your fruits inedible. It is essential to adopt the IPM approach that relies on monitoring the pest pressure, breaking its life cycle, and spraying pesticides at the optimum time.
To prevent fungal diseases from attacking the next spring, it is critical to burn dead fruits and leaves that have fallen from an ill tree during Fall. This practice will stop the disease from overwintering in the dead leaves.
Copper Spraying in early spring is also recommended to protect the orchard from several diseases like Apple Scab, Powdery mildew, and many others.
Always consult Debbane’s agricultural engineers to evaluate your orchard’s disease history and prepare a comprehensive spray program using selective products and relying on alternation to prevent resistance build-up.
by Eng. Roy Ayek