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Orchard Stewards Program: Winterizing Your Orchard

 

In the beautiful fall sunshine, the Orchard Stewards met to to learn about soil tests and winterizing their trees.

Despite soil tests seeming a bit complicated, they can be straightforward. Check for led, pH, nitrogen, and phosphorus. BOP uses the University of Delaware for soil tests. In the start of the 2017 growing season, JHU will continue conducting free soil tests. Sign up here! Knowing your soil is vital to being a responsible Steward.

Winterizing your trees is important to maintain bark health, prevent pests and diseases, and much more. We experimented by painting the bottom of a fruit tree with diluted white latex paint.

WHY:

  • Keeps the trunk slippery, which makes it difficult for pests to crawl
  • Prevent winter sunscald: Whitewashing reflects bright reflective sun in the winter
  • Prevents bark splitting and cracking
  • Keeps tree warmer at night
  • Prevents rodent damage

HOW:

  • White latex paint with equal parts water
  • 1 in above grafting union to 24 in up the trunk
  • Best for younger trees AND trees with splitting and wood-boring insects
  • Can use drywall joint compound
  • Hint from an Observant Steward: Start at the top and work your way down because it drips

If you have extra white latex paint that you would like to donate to BOP, please contact Gwen at info@baltimoreorchard.org.

Happy Orcharding!

Cultivating Orchards, Cultivating Communities

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