Spring whitewashing of fruit trees
Our garden is a living organism and also needs to be protected from adverse external influences. All spring work in the garden is aimed at protecting it, which includes: pruning, spraying, fertilizing, watering and other events.
The list of protective works also includes spring whitewashing of the central stem and skeletal branches of fruit trees.
Whitewash protects the fruit tree: from spring overheating and sunburn (instead of leaves not yet available), contributes to the destruction of a significant part of the diseases and pests that have been successful in wintering for preserving offspring.
Maintaining the outer cover of a tree in a healthy state is an extension of its fruitful period, the ability to get away from treatments with pesticides, and obtaining an environmentally friendly crop. Timely, correctly carried out whitewashing will protect plants from damage by rodents, cracking the bark, for some time will delay the onset of flowering, which will protect it from spring frosts and other negative influences.
- How much whitewash does a garden need?
- Is spring whitewashing mandatory?
- Preparing fruit trees for whitewashing
- Whitewashing garden trees
- Rules for whitewashing fruit trees
How much whitewash does a garden need?
Many gardeners regard whitewashing as a decorative act and leave it to be held on May holidays. Meanwhile, for a longer healthy state of the tree, this is a very important care procedure, and it must be carried out several times a year. According to many years of experience, the whitewashing of trees should be carried out 3 times a year, a two-time whitewashing is sufficient if special, long-lasting formulations are used.
- The main whitewash is considered autumn, which is carried out after the discharge of foliage and the onset of a steady cooling (approximately October-November).
- Repeat whitewashing in spring, before the buds open, or rather, before the steady spring solstice (second half of February-March, in cold regions - until mid-April).
- Third summer whitewash It is considered additional and is carried out much less often, although it is necessary as protection against pests (laying eggs, larvae exit) and diseases (overgrowth of mycelium in cracks of the cortex, ingress of wintering spores).
Is spring whitewashing mandatory?
In the spring, with the onset of bright sunny days, dark bare trunks and skeletal tree branches warm up to + 8 ... + 12 ° С, that is, to the temperature of the beginning of sap flow. Remember, "... is coming, the spring noise is buzzing"? Nightly lowering the temperature to minus values causes the juice to freeze, and in accordance with physical laws, expanding, it breaks the internal tissues and causes cracks in the cortex, especially young. The white color of the whitewash reflects the sun's rays well and reduces the heating temperature. Trees continue to be now no longer in natural, but forced rest (without sap flow). They begin to vegetate and bloom later, which saves not only the health of the trees, but also the harvest.
If the February-March period is missed for various reasons, then it’s not too late to whitewash the trees in the first half of April.
Preparing fruit trees for whitewashing
You can often see how unhappy gardeners whitewash tree branches without prior preparation. After the brush, dry bark is strewed, the cracks remain not whitewashed, but from a distance it is beautiful. Such whitewashing brings nothing but harm to the garden. All preparatory work and whitewashing itself is carried out only in dry weather.
Preparatory work for the whitewashing of fruit trees:
- to clear the soil of debris in the area of the crown of the tree;
- cover the soil with a film under the crown so that the diseased bark, mosses, lichens, wintering pests do not fall on the soil;
- use wooden (plastic) scrapers to clean the stamb and skeletal branches of the lagging old bark, overgrown mosses and lichens; it is impossible to work with metal tools (except saws) so as not to injure the wood;
- if the bark is firmly attached to the trunk, but deep cracks are visible, you need to use a stick rounded or hewn at the end to clean the crack and cover it with garden varnish, RanNet paste or other compounds;
- Inspect the trunk carefully, all skeletal branches and everywhere close up hollows and cracks, conduct the necessary pruning of the tree crown.
- Burn film waste away from the garden.
After cleaning the trunk and branches, it is necessary to disinfect the cleaned surfaces. Disinfection is carried out only in dry weather. If it rains after treatment, then it is repeated.
Disinfection is carried out by spraying with a fine-mesh sprayer. This is a better option than whitewashing with a disinfectant solution that rolls off a smooth bark and may not fall into cracks.
The most famous and acceptable solution for all gardeners is a solution of copper or iron sulfate. Prepare a 3-5% solution at the rate of 300-500 g of the drug per 10 liters of water. Vitriol is previously dissolved in a small amount of hot water and added to the required volume. The solution is sprayed with boles and skeletal branches. If the tree "sleeps", the whole crown can be treated with the same solution. If the buds are swollen, they use a 2% solution to treat the crown so as not to burn the vegetative buds. The treatment with iron or copper sulfate is repeated only after 4-5 years, since the preparations are gradually washed away into the soil and accumulate there, causing soil poisoning and plant death.
Instead of copper sulfate, Nitrafen can be used for disinfection - an analog of copper sulfate. Nitrafen is used only in very neglected gardens, since the concentration of copper sulfate in the preparation is high and there are clearly negative consequences for living organisms, including beneficial ones, when washed into the soil.
Instead of copper sulfate and nitrafen, you can use a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid.
To treat the stem and skeletal branches, you can also use preparations Khom, Oksikhom, Abiga-Peak. The preparations are dissolved in water and used to treat trees according to the recommendations. Their use during this period is harmless to the future crop.
Some gardeners use ordinary diesel fuel for disinfection. In its pure form, the oil product cannot be used. It is necessary to prepare a less concentrated solution, for which 10 parts of water and 0.5-1.0 parts of soap are added to 9 parts of diesel fuel. The composition is thoroughly mixed and the barrel and skeletal branches are sprayed with a pump. Leave for 2-3 days and proceed to whitewashing.
For the disinfection of boles and skeletal branches not only from pests, but also from fungal diseases, mosses and lichens, high-concentration mineral salts can be used.
In 10 l of water, one of the ingredients is dissolved:
- 1 kg of table salt;
- 600 g of urea;
- 650 g nitroammofoski or azofoski;
- 550 g of potassium carbonate;
- 350 g of potassium chloride.
These salts can be added directly to the mortar, combining 2 operations when whitewashing trees.
From improvised home remedies, a good disinfectant solution is obtained from infusion of wood ash. To prepare the solution, mix 2-3 kg of ash with 5 l of water, bring to a boil and leave to cool. Filter the cold solution, add 50 g of dissolved laundry soap for better adhesion of the solution to the bark of trees and add water to 10 liters. We process trees with a ready-made solution.
Note! They start whitewashing after 1-3 days, so that the disinfectant solution has time to soak into the bark of the tree.
All work related to the disinfection of garden plantings with highly toxic poisonous preparations is carried out in compliance with all personal protection measures.
Whitewashing garden trees
At what age should whitewash garden crops begin?
Beginning gardeners often face the question of how old young trees are to be whitewashed. The seedlings have a very delicate thin bark and high concentrations of disinfectants, caustic properties of whitewashing agents can cause burns to the young bark and the same cracks as the sun's rays.
All garden plantings are subject to whitewashing. But for young seedlings and trees, less concentrated solutions are prepared. In a separate bucket, the emulsion prepared for whitewashing is diluted with water 2 times. Instead of lime, you can whiten young trees with “For gardening” water-based paints. Whitewashing of young trees will save the gardener from additional work to protect the boles from the scorching rays of the sun, which destroy the integrity of the thin bark.
Preparation of whitewash solutions
The basis of whitewash solutions are 3 essential ingredients, to which various additives are introduced:
- White pigment (lime, chalk, water-based or water-based paint).
- Insect - or fungicidal drug, you can use any other that kills the infection.
- Any adhesive base that does not interfere with the respiration of the cortex.
Fillers in the form of clay or manure can be added to the stock solution.
The whitewashing composition must necessarily contain adhesives, otherwise the first rains will wash off the protective layer, and all work will have to be repeated. In the form of adhesives in lime solutions prepared independently, use household soap, PVA glue, and preparations offered in specialized stores.
Lime is sold on the market in the form of hard material, slaked fluff or lime dough.
Experienced gardeners prefer to extinguish lime on their own to get fresh starting material. It is most effective in controlling pests, fungi, lichens, mosses.
To prepare the lime test, solid lime is diluted in a ratio of 1: 1-1.5 parts of water.
To obtain milk of lime, 1 part of lime is mixed with 3 parts of water.
Remember! When extinguishing, lime boils by spraying burning drops. Therefore, it is necessary to extinguish lime in protective clothing and glasses. Boiling, with constant stirring, lasts about 20-30 minutes.
Freshly slaked lime can withstand from 7 to 30 days. Aged freshly slaked lime perfectly lays on the surface of the trunks during whitewashing.
The concentration of the lime solution is chosen arbitrarily, but the milk suspension (emulsion) should leave a clear, dense white mark on the wooden surface. On average, to obtain 8-10 liters of whitewash solution, 1.0-1.5 kg of slaked mixture is diluted in 8-10 liters of water. The necessary ingredients are added to the finished lime solution.
The composition of whitewash solutions for self-preparation
All proposed whitewash formulations are prepared based on 10 liters of water:
- 2.5 kg of slaked lime, 200-300 g of copper sulfate, 50 g of laundry soap;
- 1.5-2.0 kg of slaked lime, 1 kg of clay, 1 kg of cow manure, 50 g of laundry soap;
- in the composition No. 2 add 200-250 g of copper or iron sulfate;
- 2.0 kg of slaked lime, 400 g of vitriol, 400 g of casein glue;
- mineral salts can be added to all previous solutions (see p. 6 in the section "Disinfecting solutions");
- instead of disinfection, some gardeners add nitrafen, karbofos and other insect and fungicidal preparations directly to the whitewash.
Industrial whitewashing solutions
In specialized stores and other retail outlets, customers are offered ready-made solutions of garden whitewash. They contain all the necessary ingredients, including disinfectants and adhesives.
The most popular of the finished compounds are whitewash garden "Gardener", "Garden-water-dispersion paint for trees." They contain all the necessary ingredients, kept on whitewashed trees for 1-2 years. It is recommended to use compounds for whitewashing at an ambient temperature of + 5 ... + 7 * C.
The most stable are acrylic compositions: acrylic whitewash "GreenSquare", "acrylic paint for garden trees" and others. The validity period of garden acrylics is approaching 3 years. But these compounds limit air access to a whitewashed surface. The receipt of finished whitewash in stores increases every year, and there is always the opportunity to cook whitewash yourself or buy ready-made. The choice is the owner.
Rules for whitewashing fruit trees
- The whitewash layer on the trunk and skeletal branches should have a thickness of up to 2 mm. Usually impose 2 layers. The second - after drying the previous one.
- The solution should be homogeneous, sour cream consistency, so as not to drain down the trunk to the ground.
- A wide, soft whitewash brush lead from top to bottom, not missing a single gap or scratch on the tree bark.
- It is more practical to use a spray gun.
- Painting the trunk should be completed taking into account 4-6 centimeters in depth, for which purpose the bottom of the trunk should be freed from the ground. After whitewashing, return the soil layer to its place.
- The upper whitewash should be snow-white for better reflection of sunlight.
- For adult trees, whitewashing of the entire stem and 1/3 of skeletal branches located up to 1.8-2.0 m in height is considered sufficient. Branches covered with lichen or moss, previously peeled from them, are especially in need of whitewashing.
- Young seedlings, according to some gardeners, whiten completely. Usually, the trunk and 1/3 of the future skeletal branches are whitened.
The owner of the garden has the right to choose the type of whitewash. It undoubtedly has a positive effect on horticultural crops, but on one condition: the completion of whitewashing works should become a tree care system.