Friday, October 28, 2011

Winterizing My Apple Trees

Two apple trees, planted about a yard apart. "Freedom" on the left and "Liberty" on the right, purchased from St. Lawrence Nursery in Pottsdam, NY. The names claim freedom and liberty from disease. A couple of big, permaculture orchards I know have had good luck with them. They are not on dwarfing rootstock, and I'm expecting to have to prune them to keep them at a scale that's reasonable for their site. I plan to graft branches between them, Freedom to Liberty, to form a ladder, and train other branches to a single goblet shape.

The top photo shows the trunks wrapped with "Tree Wrap," two inch-wide paper, to protect the bark from winter cold and temperature changes. In the bottom photo, they're caged with hardware cloth to keep snow-tunneling mice from gnawing them to death.

I will do something similar with my hazel bushes, whose predecessors were victims of predator bunnies, and an espaliered Rabella apple, as well as several more established, but still young fruit trees.

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