Winterizing Your Fruit Trees

Winterizing Your Fruit Trees

[music] Hi folks, I’m Elmer Kidd, Chief Production Officer at Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. Today we’re going to show you how to winterize your dormant fruit trees. This is a tree guard that we put on to protect the tree from rabbits and rodents and it also gives us some protection from the afternoon sun. The best time to winterize your tree is in the fall, probably along about the month of October. At that time, the grass gets tough; the rabbits start going from eating grass to bark. Now that we have the tree guard on we’re gonna put some mulch around the tree. The mulch works to keep weed growth down and it also creates a cool barrier on the ground surface so in the spring it actually holds back bud break. Now the tree is ready for the winter. [music]

8 thoughts on “Winterizing Your Fruit Trees

  • I have a young dogwood tree that was damaged by "chewers", and it has taken years for the bark to grow back and cover the damaged area. I plan to invest in some of these this Fall, for both my young ornamental and young fruit trees. Is the bark tougher on large trees? They don't seem to bother the larger trees.
    Nashville, TN

  • @Don — Chewing animals, like rabbits, mice, and deer, will resort to eating the tender bark off young trees when the other plants and shoots they typically eat become scarce. Your thinking is correct — they prefer the tender bark of the young trees over the older bark of mature trees. The tree guards Elmer mentions and uses in this video help to deter these animals from chewing your young trees' bark! 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing the video — it definitely appears to be rabbit damage! We have experienced the same thing on some of our mature trees here in years where the snow gets that deep. Rabbits, especially jack-rabbits, can be destructive little pests.

  • My young peach tree came with one of those white wraps around the trunk. Should it be removed during the summer and put on in the winter? or can I just leave it on all year round?

  • These types of tree guards are lightweight, flexible, and breathable, so you can leave them on the tree year-round. They are also removable — for regular cleaning, routine inspection of the trunk*, loosening as the tree grows, etc.

    *Still be sure to check your trunks regularly for signs of pests, disease, or unwanted low growth.

  • I grew several Peach trees from peach seeds. This is their first winter. They are anywhere from 3 inches tall to two feet tall. Four of them are in pots and are loosing their leaves, the rest are in the ground. What should I do to winterize them to survive this winter in Idaho City, Idaho ?

  • The trees that are in the ground should have a layer of mulch placed on the ground around the tree, a couple inches thick and not up against the trunk. This will help protect and insulate the roots during the winter without creating a habitat for nibbling critters.

    The trees in pots should be brought into a cool, dark place like an unheated basement, garage, or shed for protection. Keep the soil from becoming too dry but don't keep it soaked – water only when it's dry to the touch.

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