Keep fruit trees nat­u­rally healthy

Try to pre­vent pests and dis­eases over­win­ter­ing

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

Good hy­giene is vi­tally im­por­tant to keep fruit trees healthy. Clear up fallen leaves ly­ing around trees, and if they’re dis­eased with scab or rust, place in your coun­cil green waste col­lec­tion, rather than a com­post bin. Sim­i­larly, re­move and dis­pose of mum­mi­fied fruits and place wind­falls on your bird table rather than leav­ing them to rot. Prune trees reg­u­larly to in­crease air cir­cu­la­tion and main­tain an open cen­tre. Al­ways use sharp se­ca­teurs or lop­pers and dis­in­fect in Citrox Dis­in­fec­tant (£6.99 for 500ml, Two Wests & El­liott, tel: 01246 451077; www. twow­ests.co.uk) be­tween cuts. Re­duce spread by prun­ing stems in­fected with pow­dery mildew straight into a bag, and watch out for stems dis­eased with canker (bark shrink­ing or crack­ing around wounds), or in­fested with woolly aphid (small brown aphids cov­ered with white, woolly wax). Prune off and de­stroy af­fected stems and rub off, by hand, woolly aphids shel­ter­ing in bark on the trunk, or blast with wa­ter. Pro­tect trees by spray­ing a win­ter wash (blend of plant and fish oils) onto the bark from Novem­ber to Feb­ru­ary on fine days. This re­moves pests, eggs, fun­gal spores and dirt. Try Vi­tax Win­ter Tree Wash (£10.99 for 500ml, Gar­den­ing Nat­u­rally, tel: 01285 760505; www.gar­den­ing-nat­u­rally.com).

Prac­tise good hy­giene by clear­ing up ro en fruit and leaves

Win­ter washes clean trees of pests and dis­eases

Try blast­ing off aphid a acks with wa­ter

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