Monday, December 1, 2008

December GIY: Fruits and Nuts

December Tips: FRUITS AND NUTS

Fresh nuts of hickory, butternut, and black walnut germinate quite
readily if planted outdoors approximately 1 inch deep. The
alternating freezing and thawing splits their hard shells and allows
the roots to emerge. A small, wire cage placed over the nut will mark planting
spots and keep the squirrels from excavating the seeds.

Leave a bare circle, one foot wide, around fruit tree trunks when
spreading mulch so the mice won't nest there. Also wrap the trunks to
prevent rabbit damage.

Fruit trees can be pruned at any time during the winter provided the
temperature is above 45F.

Mice chew off the bark of fruit trees at ground level or below and
often completely girdle a tree causing it to die. To reduce this
damage, keep mulch pulled away from the base of the tree and examine
mulch frequently for the presence of mice.

The aim of tree wrapping is to keep the trunk from heating unevenly
on bright, sunny, winter days. Bark tends to split as it cools rapidly
after the winter sun has warmed the south and west sides. Use
commercially available tree wraps or put up canvas or burlap screens
to shade young fruit trees.
Even a plank leaned up against the south side of the trunk will help.

Painting trunks with white latex paint is a technique used in
orchards to achieve the same purpose. Consider this practice if you
have young, tender-barked trees like fruit trees.

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