Top fruit tree growing advice and information from Real English Fruit

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November Top Ten fruit growing tips – complete list

A tree guard. Photo courtesy of Villa root

A tree guard. Photo courtesy of Villa root

1) Check the gutters of any building for blockages near your mini orchard. A leaking gutter that causes soil to become waterlogged is death to the fruit tree.
2) Remove all rotten fruit and scabby leaves as these diseases will overwinter and will affect next year’s crop.
3) Check your tree guards, replace guards that are too tight ones or broken.
4) If you have ordered new trees, mark out the planting positions with tall bamboo canes.
5) Use Bordeaux mixture if fungi have been a problem. The copper in the mixture will stop the damaging spores of these fungi from getting a hold in your trees.
6) Even though the trees will be looking bare, it’s important to apply cotton threads to pear and plum trees as soon as the leaves have fallen. This is a good method of deterring pigeons and bullfinches who otherwise will eat the fruit buds, essential for next year’s crop, in pears and plums. Ordinary cotton is fine, just wind it around the tree (slip the spool onto a rod or dowel to make things simpler) so that the threads are about six inches apart. What happens is that the bird flies towards the tree, doesn’t see the thread, touches it with its wing, gets a fright, and flies off. No damage to the bird is done, and it helps your tree!
7) Cut out any tree cankers and paint the wounds with Arbrex or “Heal and Seal.”
8) Replace broken stakes; renew broken tree ties
9) It is a good idea to keep a fruit diary, in which you can record the cropping and flowering record of the different trees. If trees did not crop well, they were probably short of water, food or light. Otherwise, the problem may be connected to cross-fertilization or pollination..
10) If you noticed some dead wood in your trees during the season, check now for canker, or for waterlogged soil. Canker has to be cut out: waterlogged soil has to be improved by means of effective drainage.

September tip: blackcurrants and rasperries

Blackcurrant bushes: remove the wood which has carried this year’s crop.  Raspberry canes: for the summer-cropping raspberries such as Glen Ample, Tullameen and Leo, cut out all the old canes to make room for the new canes. After the autumn-cropping raspberries such as Autumn Bliss and All Gold have all been picked and have finished cropping, cut ALL the canes back to ground level. Remove/treat strongly-growing weeds.