Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

Top ten fruit tree tips for October

Now the leaves are beginning to drop, this is a good time to carry out a detailed inspection of each fruit tree.
1. Ttree ties. Check that they are not too tight. Adjust or renew.
2. Take the tree guards off the trunk. Look for canker. Clean the trunk of any accumulated debris, such as moss and weed remains, grass cuttings etc. If there is canker, cut it out with a sharp knife. Seal the wound with “Heal and Seal”. Put the tree guard back on.
3. Check the stake. If broken or rotted off at ground level, replace the stake before the winter gales cause damage to the root system of the tree.
4. Remove all dropped or rotten fruit under the tree. This to avoid a build-up of the brown rot fungus. If scab or mildew did occur during the season, remove all leaves from the ground to avoid a build-up of the spores of the damaging fungi. Apply an approved winter wash to the tree, if pest or disease have been a serious problem.
5. This is the right time to cut out any broken branches. Seal the wounds with “Heal and Seal”.
6. If the top of the trees has extended beyond your reach, causing you problems during picking time, cut the top out now and seal the wound. It is best to do it now and not during the winter time.
7. If lots of new shoots and branches have darkened the centre of the tree, cut these shoots and branches out. You can do this now, while the tree is semi-dormant.
8. If the tree carried a very heavy crop, rebuild the tree’s nutritional reserve by applying half a wheelbarrow of well rotted straw-based farmyard manure, spread out underneath the tree’s canopy.
9. Mulch the tree, if you can, with old and decomposing straw or hay, at a thickness of around 3 inches. Leave a clear ring around the trunk without any mulch to avoid mice damage during the winter time.
10. Order the new trees for your orchard now!

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