How To Keep A Deciduous Tree Healthy
Deciduous trees thrive in a variety of climates. They are a
hearty lot of trees but proper care is necessary to see that
your deciduous trees flourish and survive.
Call it being proactive, call it using your green-thumb, call
it common horticultural knowledge. However you choose to see
it, becoming deciduous-tree savvy is needed, and fairly easy to
do. If you are unfamiliar with how to care for your deciduous
trees, read on to build a knowledge-base to keep your trees
healthy and promote longevity.
Many deciduous trees, fruit trees especially, can survive in
mountain regions=97such as the apple tree or cherry tree, for
instance. The apple tree requires extra chilling and cooler
summer temps, so mountain regions offer this weather-bound
setting. Many mountain regions, however, suffer from a risk of
late frosts. Desert locations are another potential location
for deciduous fruit trees. You rule out late frosts, for the
most part anyway. Yet, mountain or foothill regions are, by
far, a fairer location to plant deciduous trees.
When you plant your deciduous trees, choose a location with
lots of sunlight and, if possible, protected from high winds.
This will aid protecting trees during any unfortunate storms
that blow across the region.
Some deciduous fruit trees require cross-pollination in order
for the fruit tree to germinate and bud. Be certain that you
find a compatible pollinator. You can do this by using a
two-in-one or three-in-one grafted tree can be used. See your
local nursery for further details.
Just as taking a proactive mindset to your planting is key,
it’s also a good idea to label varieties. If, for instance, a
tree dies, you can quickly replace it. Having a backup map with
written labels is another good idea, in the event that labels
are lost or damaged due to inclement weather conditions.
Deciduous fruit trees should be pruned annually. Do so before
buds swell. This promotes optimal growth and yield. Pruning,
although sometimes arduous, doesn’t need to be a complicated
endeavor. Again, it’s a matter of doing a little research,
become familiar with the trees life cycle.
Three pruning phases are necessary for deciduous fruit trees.
The first phase occurs during the planting phase of the tree.
The goal is to help the tree create a vase-shaped structure.
Also, when visiting a local nursery, be certain to purchase
trees with well-developed root structures. Even though the
upper portion of the tree might catch your eye when shopping for
a hearty-looking tree, if the root system is weak, you may have
trouble harvesting deciduous fruit trees.
The second pruning phase begins once the first year of growth
is complete. Prune back your tree and cut it into scaffolds.
This layering of branches promotes the greatest yield. Create
some gaps, but don’t prune back too much.
The third phase of pruning occurs once a tree reaches maturity,
anywhere from 5-7 years for most deciduous trees. Prune the
tree for fruit production during this phase. Pruning, again,
needs to be focused on layering, or designing well-spaced
scaffolding for fruit development and growth.
For more information on pruning fruit trees, contact the UC
Cooperative Extension in Bakersfield, California. They have a
47-page journal entitled Pruning Fruit and Nut Trees. You can
also contact your local nursery to gain further information on
caring for deciduous trees in your area.
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