BY ROBERT A. PURVIS
– Prune currants and goosberries.
– Remove winter mulches from trees in yard or in pots.
– 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.
– 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°.)
– 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.
– Remove any suckers growing vertically from limbs before they get any bigger, or attempt to train them more horizontally.
– Weed around trees.
– Apply light feeding of 8-32-16 and weed around trees.
– Make repairs, if necessary, to moose fences or moose cages for fruit trees.
– 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.
– 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.
– Remove heavy snow load from branches.
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