Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Espaliered Fruit Trees Year 2

This is my second year of training five pear and apple trees to a 4 tier cordon. So far everyone is complying and responding well to growing in two dimensions.  Every week I make sure to bend down new growth and tie it down. Some of my branches are already reaching the full length of how long horizontally I'll let them grow to.  Once all 4 tiers are established it's just a matter of pruning any undesirable growth from there on.

Fruit Tree Spraying

In years past I waited until May to spray immunox and triazicide on my apple, nectarine, pear, almond and cherries. Come June I was surprised to see that my trees were ravaged by plum curculio and bacterial leaf spot.
So this year I had enough of pests and diseases and made sure to start spraying at green tip phase in April.  I am now rewarded with healthy looking trees and fruit that are not damaged by plum curculio.  I have much respect for organic pomologists as maintaining an orchard without artifical pesticides and pesticides is very hard. Next step is to hand thin fruit in the next few weeks after June drop starts.

Repotting Figs

I transplanted my figs from 20" planters to new 24" planters.  While repotting I took the opportunity to root prune my figs.  I took my hori hori knife and shaved 3" of soil and roots from the root ball. Then I placed the fig into the new container and back filled with more soil. Since I didn't do this in the fall my figs are off to a late start this spring since the root pruning slows them down a bit. That just means that I'll only have a second crop this year.