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Farm Tips on – Winter Care

Advantage of winter for Apple Farms
Apple trees are one of the best types of deciduous fruit trees to grow in cold climatic conditions because they are exceptionally resistant to freezing cold weather,chilling winds,ice and snow. Most of the apple growers in Himachal have a chilling requirement for their apple trees, anywhere from 1200 to about 1600 hours at temperatures less than 8°C. It means that trees are not normally prepared to break dormancy until this requirement is met.

Winter season does not generally damage apple tree unless it is already being damaged by the pests or apple diseases. Apple trees actually need a period of cold weather because it helps them move beyond the dormant stage. It also boosts the spring growth that is so important for a healthy tree and yield. Also it helps as a pest control because in snow most of the pests,insect’s egg, borers,worms gets killed due to cold freezing temperature, winter act as a blessing to the apple growers. Winter caring for apple trees extends past their growing season. In order to ensure that apple trees continue to bear well and remain healthy, meet their physical needs during the winter.

Inspection of orchards

Apple trees should be planted in the dormant climate to get the best results, generally plantation should be done between mid – November to February, with proper mulching and should be irrigated.

Sanitation is necessary to prevent disease and pests and reduce the need of sprays and pest control for the tree. By Sanitation it means cleaning your orchards of mummies of dead fruits that keep hanging on the tree or are found under the tree, it’s necessary to collect and burn these with the leaves of trees affected by diseases. This proves very effective and can reduce unnecessary cost in blossom as these fruit mummies and leaves contains eggs of moths, insects and borers.

Pruning should be done in between Mid-November to Feburary end, apple trees should be pruned to remove dead branches and any branch that hinders the sunlight or is out of shape should be removed by the help of expert pruner, this helps to improve air circulation and makes tree stronger and keeps in shape.

Spraying (Dormant Spray)
Dormant oil spray may be applied to trees that have scale,blister mites,aphids, scab or red spider mite infestations. The dormant spray are generic terms for applications of pesticides –including fungicides and oil combination with pesticides and should be applied in winter when tree remains dormant.