NGA Articles: Fruit Tree Care

Fruit Tree Care (cont)

By: National Gardening Association Editors

Protecting Trees from Winter Injury

Paint tree trunks white in late fall to prevent winter sunscald. This damage, often worse than that from absolute cold, occurs when the unshaded trunks heat up to high temperatures during the day, then rapidly cool to very low temperatures at night. Combine 1 part interior white latex paint to 3 parts water, and spray or brush this mixture on trunks up to the first main limb.

Rabbit and rodent repellents can be mixed into the paint to prevent these animals from feeding on the bark in the winter. Or place 1/4-inch mesh hardware-cloth cages around your trees, making sure the guards reach above the expected snow level. You can also use white plastic tree guards to prevent both sunscald and rodent damage. Pull mulch away from the tree trunks in fall to avoid attracting rodents. Deer feeding on the tender twigs and branches in winter can cause a lot of damage. The most effective deer repellent, according to those troubled by them, is an egg spray. Blend three raw eggs with two or three cups of water in a blender, then dilute this mixture with more water in a 3-gallon sprayer.


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