Yesterday I worked in my small orchard to get it ready for the coming winter months. I mowed the grass for the last time this year, and placed tree wraps on 6 young fruit trees.
I use spiral tree wraps on young fruit trees to protect them against winter damage done by mice, rabbits, voles or other small mammals. I prefer the spiral type of tree wrap because it can accommodate a growing fruit tree.
I like to leave the wraps in place until the tree out grows them or the wrap becomes unsightly.
I still have about another 2 or 3 more hours of orchard work that I hope to finish in the coming week. I’d like to remove the “mummy apples” if the weather permits. If the weather isn’t accommodating, removing mummy apples is a job I enjoy doing on a sunny day in winter.
While I’m in the orchard, I need to start marking trees that are going to be removed from the orchard this winter.
My orchard is planted in mostly semi-dwarf apple trees and many of the trees are no longer producing dependably due to age and because they were planted too close to one another.
It’s time to cut some of them out. By thinning the trees it will increase the air circulation around the remaining trees and they will be healthier. I think it’s a better plan to have 10 good strong apple trees that I can easily manage in my old age, than to keep 30 sickly apple trees that produce poorly and I neglect because they grow too close together. Hopefully by thinning the trees I’ll get a few more years out of the ones that remain.