Particular Fruit Tree Pests and Diseases

Particular Fruit Tree Pests and Diseases
by Michael Todd

This light surface cultivation keeps down weeds and the dust mulch produced does give the trees every encouragement. They thus grow well without the competition of grass.

During the cultivations, organic fertilizers like hoof and horn meal may be given at 4-5 cwt. to the acre, say, early in March. It is not advisable to plough in or dig in large quantities of well-rotted dung or compost before planting. Such bulky organic matter is better applied as a top dressing around the trees after planting, when it provides a mulch and so does good. Furthermore, of course, the worms will pull down such an organic mulch gradually and so it will be incorporated into the soil without causing the land to become puffy. Incorporating heavy quantities of organic matter prior to planting does make it difficult to plant the trees firmly.

Plant Stuff

The second method is that known as ‘ringing’. This consists of the removal of a ring of bark about blossom time inch wide and an inch or two below the level of the lowest branch. A sharp knife removes this ring of bark down to the wood, leaving the ring clean and tidy. The wound should be covered over afterwards with a strip of adhesive grafting tape.

Once a year, early in February, an organic nitrogenous fertilizer, like cocoa shell, may be used at 6 cwt. per acre, or in small gardens at 3 oz. to the sq. yard. In small gardens, where cost doesn’t matter quite so much, dried blood could be used at 2 oz. to the sq. yard or hoof and. horn meal at a similar rate.

Another method of encouraging the production of fruit buds is the shoot-circling method. The laterals or one-year-old side growths, instead of being pruned in the summer or winter are left at full length and then are tied down with string to form an almost complete circle.

The result of this circling or curving is that fruit buds are produced because the sap is checked and the following season the circled shoot may be pruned back to just above a suitable fruit bud. I found Ellison’s Orange, Charles Ross, Tydeman’s Early Worcester, Sunset and Jewel to do particularly well under this system.

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