Although treatment of fruit trees in winter is as equally important as their treatment during spring and harvest seasons, most farmers neglect their treatment due to the absence of any visible signs that require intervention. Adhering to these practices well and regularly is one the utmost important preventive methods that must be adopted in order to avoid the need to spray them with pesticides and toxins to combat diseases when they appear later. Prevention is the best cure! This article provides a detailed explanation of winter treatments and guides you through using this treatment for optimal protection of fruit trees.
By comparing the weather today to what it was in recent years, it appears that winter in our regions is now less cold than before and temperatures are more or less moderate.
How do these changes affect fruit trees?
Moderate temperature allows growth and development of insects and fungal diseases, leading to the appearance of some pests in unusual times, that is, at different periods or before their expected time, especially on apple trees, where groups of agarose appeared earlier than usual. Therefore, it is important to combat these pests during winter or when the weather is relatively warm with no rain. Winter control highly relies on copper spraying or Cuprocaffaro with winter Spray Oil.
The process of copper spraying must also be repeated, mixed with a suitable pesticide at the stage of swelling buds.
One must not forget other agricultural treatments that are as important as spraying and fertilization, such as:
Collecting fallen leaves under trees, removing and burning rotten fruits in a safe place, as these leaves and fruits can carry pathogenic fungal spores. Moreover, the farmer must pay attention to insect larvae that spend the winter under the tree bark and that must be gently removed without harming the tree.
Fighting mice, especially in mountain areas prone to prolonged periods of snow where apple cultivation is widespread. Plants are protected from mice either by wrapping the trunk with cling film or by applying mice drugs with a wax like vertox-wax blocks, so that it does not get washed off with snow.
Winter pruning, a necessary process in which the plant is in the hibernation period. Pruning must be done when the weather is sunny with no sign of rain or thunderstorms.
Winter treatments are not only important for pest prevention, but also for nurturing trees by fertilizing them with appropriate chemicals that are slowly absorbed and do not get washed off or evaporate quickly.
Feeding the plant during winter is necessary for restoring balance among soil elements and preparing the ground for an abundant season. This process is limited to the addition of organic fertilizers from all sources, namely animal manure, especially cows, goats, plant organic fertilizers or animal organic fertilizers Italpollina and Guanamus.
These nutrients are added during winter, precisely because they require a long time to transform and become available to the plant. Fertilization during the winter period is not limited to organic fertilizers only, but also chemical fertilizers, as the plant can only absorb chemical elements. That is why chemical fertilization is of the utmost importance.
So how can plants absorb elements during winter? The answer is easy and depends on the quality of the chemical fertilizer used, which must be waxed and absorbed slowly, without being washed off quickly. Therefore, the right variety must be chosen at the right time.
Finally, winter preventive treatments of fruit trees are essential because they can ensure greater protection of trees and improve their immunity by killing insect larvae, eggs and fungus’ spores, making them less vulnerable to pests and more vital. Thus, the number of sprinklers during the season is lower and their productivity increases.
by M. Abi Fadel