Show your fruit trees some love
If you give your fruit trees some love over winter they will pay you back over summer with delicious fruit. Fruit trees rest over winter so it’s a good time to tackle any fungal spores which will infest the trees over the warmer months with leaf curl, scale, mite, aphids or brown rot. Spray with Bordeaux or Lime sulphur as the buds swell. Don’t forget to remove any old fruit or the old leaves from around the base of your fruit trees to prevent reinfestation.
Next step is to remove all the dead or spindly branches with sharp pruning tools so you don’t leave any jagged cuts. Pruning will help the tree to be more healthy and increase its fruit production. We like to prune the trees so that we can easily reach the fruit and net the tree if necessary. The aim is to keep branches growing either horizontally or vase shaped and remove the tightly angled shoots. It’s a good idea to remove the branches that cross over each other so you open the centre of the tree up to let air and light in. Peaches and nectarines need more pruning than citrus fruits.
Clean your tools after you finish each tree to ensure you are working with a sterile equipment. You can dip your tools in tea tree or a disinfectant.
Apply fresh mulch around the tree and feed with a seaweed or flower and fruit fertiliser in preparation for next summer.