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.


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