BY ROBERT A. PURVIS
|Feb, 15-April 15||– Harvest scionwood from trees which you want to propagate, Store scions at temperatures under 40°F, in a waterproof plastic bag. Keep moist but not wet.|
|April 15-30||– Remove dead canes from raspberry bushes.|
|April 30||– Prune apple and other fruit trees. Prune unwanted limbs and ragged limb ends back either to collar at trunk or to an outward-pointing, healthy bud.
– Prune currants and goosberries.
– Remove winter mulches from trees in yard or in pots.
|May 1 -10||– Apply dormant oil spray if aphids, thrips, etc. were a problem last summer on your fruit trees. Remove Arborgards or tree wrap from tree trunks.|
|May 10-30||– At first sign of changes in buds on apple trees, make field grafts. Cover grafts with opaque plastic bags.
– Make bridge grafts if trees have been girdled by rodents.
– Apply calcium nitrate (about 1.5 cups per tree per inch of trunk diameter) to soil around tree after first weeding out grass and weeds around base of tree.
|May 20 -30||– Visit local nurseries to look at fruit trees or berry bushes.
– Take note of how much winterkill is present on branch tips.
– If soil is dry, water with warm water.
– Insert branch spreaders in crotches to make wider crotch angles (ideal is about 45 to 60°.)
|June 1-15||– Make notes on blossoming sequence for bearing trees. If bees are not active or numerous, hand-pollinate blossoms on one tree with blossoms from another, different variety of apple or crabapple. One blossom will pollinate about six others.
– Watch for thrips inside apple blossoms. A few may be fished out with a needle. If over a dozen are present, consider spraying in the evening with Diazonin.
– Remove bags from field grafts after 2-3 weeks and see if buds are breaking on scions. If so, loosen bag to allow for air circulation. Remove bag when tiny leaves appear on graft.
|June 10-20||– Apply another dose of calcium nitrate and an equal amount of 8-32-16.
– Remove any suckers growing vertically from limbs before they get any bigger, or attempt to train them more horizontally.
– Weed around trees.
|June 30 – July 10||– Thin apples, pears, plums, or apricots when they’re the size of a marble, to 1 or 2 fruits per spur. Remember that it takes 30 healthy leaves to properly nourish one apple. Thinning will produce larger fruits, prevent alternate bearing, and improve tree hardiness.|
|July 10-20||– Slit tape on field grafts so they won’t constrict the scion.
– Apply light feeding of 8-32-16 and weed around trees.
|July 30 – Aug. 10||– Do summer pruning at this time.
– Make repairs, if necessary, to moose fences or moose cages for fruit trees.
|August 15||– If weather is cool and wet, watch for powdery mildew (whitish bloom on leaves followed by their withering) and spray if necessary.|
|September 1||– Begin checking on ripeness of fruit. It’s best to pick some varieties (e.g., Norland, Yellow Transparent) when they’re slightly immature.
– If frost threatens, don’t pick apples or pears; they can withstand brief exposure to 20°F. Stone fruits (plums, apricots, cherries) wilt need frost protection or should be picked if temperatures drop below 26°F.
|September 25||– Remove branch spreaders.|
|October 1-15||– Apply Arborgards or tree wrap to young trees for sunscald and rodent protection.|
|October 5||– Harvest last apples.|
|October 15||– Strip remaining leaves off fruit trees so they won’t attract moose or catch snow.|
|October 15-30||– After ground freezes slightly, pile leaves on ground around trunk and weight them down with a layer of grass clippings so they won’t blow away (good for mulching young trees, but not important for old trees.)
– If you’re overwintering nursery stock in pots, find a shady, sheltered location and pile leaves over the pots, then weight them down with grass clippings.
– If you have cherry trees and your site is windy, spray trees with Wilt-Pruf if temperatures are above 40°F.
|November 15||– Plan rootstock order for 1989 and phone it in to Lawyer Nursery or other source of hardy fruit rootstocks.
– Remove heavy snow load from branches.
|December 31||– Deadline to order scionwood from Saanichton Plant Quaratine Station, Sidney, British Columbia.|
|January 1 -31||– Place orders for nursery stock from “Lower 48” nurseries.|