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Preparing apple trees for winter is a responsible matter, on which not only the harvest of the next year depends, but also the vitality of the trees themselves. It is especially important to know how to prepare apple trees for winter in Siberia.
The climatic features of Siberia are characterized by severe frosts - the temperature drops to -40 degrees even on calm days. If the apple trees are not well covered by winter, there is a great danger of their death.
After harvesting, activities begin in the garden to prepare the apple trees for wintering. The most urgent are the digging of near-trunk circles, as well as the application of fertilizers. If, when loosening the soil under the trees, the root system is accidentally damaged, it will have time to recover.
Top dressing will help you complete the growing season faster and stop the growth of new shoots. If green leaves are still growing on the apple tree, then the growing season is still ongoing. In this case, the tree can suffer from low temperatures in winter.
Top dressing is done with phosphates or potassium compounds. After fertilization, the foliage will begin to turn yellow and fall off. During this period, nitrogen fertilizers are not applied, as they can reduce the frost resistance of apple trees.
Pruning for the winter
Even before persistent frosts, the apple tree should be pruned. It provides for the following actions:
- removal of old, diseased or damaged branches;
- young branches are cut 2/3 of the length;
- the height of the cut apple tree should be no more than 3.5 m;
- intersecting shoots are removed, which thicken the crown and interfere with each other;
- young shoots appearing from under the root should be eliminated;
- you also need to cut branches pointing inward or downward.
Important! The cut points should be greased with garden varnish or oil paint should be applied to them.
Water promotes intensive growth of the apple tree, therefore watering should be regular during the summer season. At the end of summer, water and feed the apple tree abundantly with complex fertilizers. Then stop watering to slow down the growth of roots.
Already in November, when all the foliage has fallen, it is necessary to insulate the roots. But all the ground around the trees is cleared beforehand. Collecting foliage, garbage, pruning branches. All this is burned.
Many novice gardeners often make the mistake of leaving fallen leaves and twigs under the trees to warm the roots. But this is wrong. Under the foliage lying on the ground, larvae accumulate, which will later harm the trees. Fallen fruits that begin to rot should also be removed.
Insect larvae and pests also settle in the cracks of the tree bark. You can get rid of them by cleaning the bark with a brush. First, you should spread an old blanket or plastic wrap under the tree. Garbage falling from the bark is also burned. And scratches on the trunk are covered with garden varnish.
Apple tree processing
Autumn work on preparing apple trees for winter is not limited to collecting leaves. It is necessary to carry out the following activities:
- the trunk of the tree must be coated with a lime solution - it will protect the apple tree from insects, sunburn and frost;
- if you add such strong-smelling substances as tar to the mortar, they will scare away rodents;
- birds will help to cope with bark beetles - for them you can prepare feeders for the winter and hang them in the trees;
- the crown should be treated with a solution of copper or iron sulfate - it will protect the apple tree in winter from lichens and other diseases.
Important! Trees should be treated in dry and warm weather so that the pests do not have time to hide.
Warming an apple tree for the winter
As soon as the first snow falls, it is necessary to cover the roots of trees prepared for covering and the trunk to a height of up to 1 meter. The trunk is also insulated with improvised means, which can be used as paper, cardboard, burlap.
If there is no snow yet, but the temperatures are low enough, you can insulate the apple trees for the winter with spruce branches, on top of which paper or fabric material is used. The insulation is fixed to the tree with a rope or twine. Such a shelter will help scare away rodents, as well as protect trees from strong winds. Hares will not be able to damage the bark by wrapping sugar bags at the bottom of the trunk.
The video introduces the process of sheltering apple trees for the winter:
Mature trees that have reached the age of seven are more adapted to winter cold and do not need careful shelter. Nevertheless, their root system must be insulated. After the obligatory autumn activities, you should cover the tree trunk of the apple tree for winter with a 3-centimeter layer of mulch or just garden soil.
Warming of seedlings for the winter
Saplings are insulated in the same way as adult trees, but the main thing is to do it on time. Otherwise, in winter, the bark will crack from frost, and the roots will rot, the seedling will die. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the roots:
- manure is spread around them in a circle;
- a dense layer of sawdust is laid on top of it;
- the root collar is carefully wrapped with insulation - agrofibre has excellent qualities;
- for barrel insulation, white wrapping paper is used - the white color reflects ultraviolet rays and protects the barrel from sunburn.
Important! When insulating an apple tree for the winter, it is not recommended to use roofing material or film - they can cause the formation of fungi in the event of a thaw.
It is imperative to tie the seedlings to the pegs, as there are often strong winds in Siberia. Experienced gardeners surround the seedling with a small hedge of pegs to keep out the gusts of wind. After covering the trunk of the seedling, the root collar is insulated with manure, and an earthen mound up to 30 cm high is poured on top. Rotting, the manure will provide the roots with minerals, creating favorable conditions for the further development of the tree. A thick layer of snow is sprinkled on top of the earthen mound. Such a shelter will allow a young seedling to endure severe frosts and grow quickly in spring.
Columnar apple trees
Columnar apple trees have gained wide popularity. They are also successfully bred in Siberia. Their trunk has no lateral branches and does not form a lush crown. The height of the apple trees is no more than 2.5 meters. They are especially beneficial for small gardens, as they do not take up much space. A feature of these unusual trees is the so-called apical bud, from which the main shoot grows. If it freezes out, the shape of the tree will be disturbed, so columnar apple trees need to be completely covered for winter. There are different ways to cover a columnar apple tree for the winter.
The first way
Previously, the trunk of columnar trees is whitewashed with lime, it is possible with the addition of copper sulfate. Shelter is made after the establishment of stable low temperatures of about 10 degrees below zero, when sap flow stops:
- a wooden pyramid of planks is built around the trunk;
- humus is poured inside it;
- the outside is wrapped with a covering material;
- fix it with tape or paper clips.
Many Siberian gardeners plant a columnar apple tree in a bucket. For the winter, they are transferred to a country house or to a basement. One of the options is to shelter the apple tree for winter in a cucumber garden. But in any case, trees need to be insulated:
- the boles are whitewashed with a solution of lime with copper sulfate;
- the trunk and branches of the apple tree are wrapped in old tights or sacking for the winter;
- abundant watering is carried out;
- containers with trees are laid horizontally in a frame made of boards;
- from above are covered with prepared material.
Shelter of apple trees for the winter should be carried out in stages, as the frosts intensify:
- first, the apple tree is covered with a film;
- covering material is placed on top of it;
- then foliage is poured;
- as an effective insulation, a thick layer of snow is raked up from above.
In the spring, the shelter is removed from the tree in stages:
- at the end of February, without waiting for melting, a layer of snow must be removed;
- when the main cold weather has passed, around March, you can remove the foliage, sometimes airing the apple tree;
- only layers of covering material will remain, which is removed later.
If an apple tree is prepared for winter in Siberia according to all the rules, it will easily endure wintering and will please with a good harvest in summer.