Spiral Tree Wraps – Winter Protection For Young Fruit Trees

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.

Spiral Tree Wraps & Bucket Of Garden Tools

Spiral Tree Wraps & Bucket Of Garden Tools

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.

Spiral Tree Wrap

Spiral Tree Wrap

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.

4 Year-Old Sheep's Nose Apple Tree

4 Year-Old Sheep’s Nose Apple Tree


  7 comments for “Spiral Tree Wraps – Winter Protection For Young Fruit Trees

  1. Sara McD
    November 17, 2013 at 9:22 am

    This is just the information I was looking for. We put in two peach trees late this summer and I was wondering what kind of winter prep they would need. Thank you so much.

    Speaking of fruit trees – I’m hoping to pull off a mini miracle in growing figs in Western NY. A friend in southern PA gave me a fig tree because I had to leave my old ones behind in Long Island when we relocated. I put it in the unheated garage after it dropped its last leaf about a week ago.

    • KMG
      November 17, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Good luck with you fig tree. That’s a tree I’ve never grown but might give it a try some day :-)

      • Sara McD
        November 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm

        Thank you. Fresh figs are very sweet and juicy and hard to come by.

  2. November 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Right now my husband and I live in a rented townhouse without a yard except for a 7 1/2 x 12 ft patch for a garden. I am thankful for that little space to grow a few vegetables at least. We are hoping to buy a house next year, and I plan to have a bigger garden. I also want to plant a small orchard, so I am gleaning as much information as I can from you and a couple of other gardening/homesteading ladies’ websites. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    Also, I want to try growing flax and making linen sometime, using your advice. That will be interesting to do.

    • KMG
      November 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      I’m so glad you are finding this website useful :-)

  3. gino schafer
    November 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am no expert, but I did own an orchard of 300 apple and 150 nectarine and peach trees. Before I would pull out a healthy tree I would try pruning the trees back significantly and upping the fertilization rates. The picture above the linked article,” they were planted too close to one another,” if it is your orchard, indicates you use an older tree shaping method. I used a central leader on my apple trees. This is a more upright orientation. It is difficult to change from one to another, sometimes impossible, but might be better than pulling out healthy trees. By the way, and you may know this already, prune in the winter when the trees are dormant. You will get better results. It actually invigorates the tree growth, vs pruning in the summer. Good luck!

    • KMG
      November 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Gino –
      Yes we did train with an older shaping method. I’m afraid some of the trees cannot be re-trained at this point. To compound an already difficult situation is the fact the some of the root stock is M7 & M9 and many of the trees are leaners & very susceptible to Fire Blight. We’ve been struggling with the “thin ’em out” quandary for the last few years.

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