Features whitewash apple trees in autumn and spring
One of the methods of agricultural technology for the care of fruit trees is whitewashing, the purpose of which is to protect trees from pests, diseases and ultraviolet radiation during the period of activity. And to achieve maximum effect, the procedure must be carried out according to all the rules. The article will introduce the features of whitewashing of apple trees in autumn and spring, compositions for whitewashing and possible errors in the process.
Why should you whiten apple trees
Orchard with white tree trunks looks aesthetically pleasing. But not only this is the goal of whitewashing. The bark painted in this way better reflects aggressive sunlight and protects the tree from overheating, gets wet less and is less prone to fungal and bacterial infections.
A layer of paint masks small cracks and damage that can become foci of insect pests, and in winter will protect trees from rodents, gnawing the bark and exposing the trunk.
Features and terms of whitewashing
There are several recommendations that will allow you to organize work and properly whiten plants:
- older trees (more than 10 years of life) to lime, young specimens so that lime does not burn the young bark - with chalk compounds, acrylic or water-based paints, adding copper sulfate (1%), 2-3 years old seedlings should not be whitened, but used to protect the strapping of white woven materials;
- personally prepared composition should be infused for 2-3 hours with thorough mixing;
- distribute a layer of a mixture of 2-3 mm thick evenly and carefully over the surface;
- after drying of the first layer, the procedure can be repeated to consolidate the result;
- start work from the top of the trunk, skeletal branches to paint over a third (20-30 cm);
- observe safety measures, use gloves, a respirator, protective clothing.
Important! Especially careful processing requires the south side of the trunk.
In the spring
Spring treatment of apple trees with whitewash mixtures serves to renew the autumn cover and protect pests, such as the bee-eater, from actively awakening springtime insects. The work depending on the regions is the second half of March for the southern regions and mid-April for the northern ones.
Autumn whitewashing will help the apple trees survive the cold winter and protect it from the sun in early spring. At the end of winter (February-March) the sun is already shining brightly. The sun's rays due to the low standing of the sun fall on the trunk perpendicularly and heat it as much as possible.
To this should be added reflection from the snow cover. In such conditions, the tree may get burns, the bark will begin to crack and exfoliate. Excessive heating can cause early sap flow, and subzero temperatures at night will lead to rupture of the crust and the formation of deep cracks.
Avoid this and help the white reflective layer of whitewash. It is advisable to carry out these works after leaf fall (October-November) in dry sunny weather, so that the layer has evenly dried and absorbed into the bark of the apple tree, and always at plus temperatures.
How to prepare an apple tree for whitewashing
Preparing the apple tree for whitewashing consists in cleaning the old, problem and exfoliated bark, disinfecting the tree and treating the damage to the wood with special putty so that the whitewashing mixtures do not mask imperfections, but lie on a healthy bark and branches.
A careful inspection of the trunk will reveal areas requiring the intervention of a gardener. Before inspection, the bark is moistened with water so that the flaws appear more clearly.Plastic or wooden scrapers clean the trunk of the layers of the old bark, mosses, lichens, in which spores of fungi and harmful microorganisms can remain. Young trees on which the bark has not formed completely do not clear. On a cleaned trunk, you can walk with a coarse metal or plastic sponge for better grip whitewash in the future.
Any, even gentle cleaning can leave invisible damage, and it is not possible to completely remove the spores of fungi, therefore, after cleaning, disinfection is necessary, which consists in spraying the bark with solutions with the addition of disinfectants.
Disinfection is carried out several days after stripping, choosing a favorable day for the weather.
- copper or iron sulfate (100-200 g per bucket of water), but it should be remembered that an excessive concentration of iron inhibits the immunity of the tree;
- ash-soap solutions (100 g of laundry soap, 2 kg of ash per 10 l of hot water), wash the trunks with a rag soaked in the solution;
- ash (boil 3 kg of ash in a bucket of water, let it infuse and spray the trunk);
- fungicides “Oksikhom”, “KhOM”, ready-made solutions of Bordeaux mixtures, etc. are suitable for disinfection in accordance with the instructions.
Important! Under the tree put paper or newspapers, which together with cleaned residues burn at the end of work.
Wounds and cracks resulting from cleaning or due to adverse conditions, hollows and cuts of branches need to be covered before whitewashing with garden varieties or clay chatters (an aqueous solution of clay and mature manure in a ratio of 2: 1, hay or straw dust with the addition of 1 tablespoon copper sulfate). For deep cracks, a thicker consistency is used.
Ready-made compounds for putty are bought in specialized stores. Ecological putty “RanNet”, “ZSP”, garden varieties “Pchelka”, “Universal Bugorkova”, “BlagoSad” have good properties. After the putty, whitewashing should begin earlier than after 10-15 days.
Common whitewash formulations
There are a lot of options for whitewashing. The compositions can be prepared with your own hands or bought in a store. Additional substances included in the composition will simultaneously provide protection of apple trees from diseases and pests.
Important! In order to avoid burns, precautionary measures must be taken, since during extinguishing, a violent reaction occurs with spraying and heat generation.
Whitewash compositions must meet the following requirements:
- have a reflective ability, that is, be white;
- provide coupling with the bark, stay longer on the tree, do not drain and do not rinse off with sediments;
- the presence of repellents and antibacterial additives is desirable.
The composition is not difficult to do on your own. Most often, it’s just lime milk based on quicklime (bulk or in powder) or slaked lime. Quicklime for the preparation of whitewash must be extinguished. To do this, it is placed in a capacious container and filled with water in a ratio of 1: 1.
To obtain milk of lime, hydrated lime (2-3 kg) is added with water (about 10 l to the desired consistency) and an adhesive component for better adhesion to the bark (wood glue, flour paste, clay). Lime has a thermoprotective and antibacterial effect, but is quickly washed off during rains, therefore, such coatings have to be renewed several times during the season.
You can whiten the apple tree with soft paint brushes, for example, brush heads, choosing the size of the brush according to the size of the tree trunk (the width of the brush is equal to the thickness of the trunk), with paint rollers or dispersion sprays for paints (spray guns).
Whitewash mixtures are carefully and evenly distributed over the entire surface of the trunk (1.5 m high) and lower skeletal branches (one third or half length).Whitewashing is carried out in dry weather, so that the composition has time to soak in the bark and dry.
Options for finished whitewash from the store
In hardware stores you can buy ready-made whitewash mixes and paints. In some, repellents are added from rodents, pathogenic bacteria and pests of apple trees, while others will protect against the harmful effects of sunlight. Mixtures are prepared on the basis of acrylic and water-based paints, lime, chalk, clay.
Purchased pre-mixes for whitewashing:
- Michurinka-2 - protection against pests, diseases, burns, sharp fluctuations in temperature during the off-season, the layer keeps well on the trunk and is resistant to weather conditions;
- Unifarb - has antifungal and antibacterial additives, increases the winter hardiness of the tree and protects against burns;
- Arboflex - whitewash provides protection against burns, frost cracks, does not inhibit the respiration of trees and is not washed off by precipitation;
- Alliance - paint with a healing effect and protection against fungi and pests;
- "Block" - based on lime and clay with copper or iron sulfate, protection against insect pests, mosses, lichens, fungal and bacterial infections, rodents, has a healing effect.
This is not a complete list of possible whitewash mixtures. Many paints are environmentally friendly and do not harm the environment. If there are no repellents in the purchased whitewash, then they can be added to the whitewash before use.
Important! If you moisten the bark with water, then the burn site looks darker.
Composition for protecting trunks from burns
Sunburn of apple trees is common, especially in insufficiently hardy varieties, on the annual shoots of young apple trees and in trees with dark bark, therefore, special attention should be paid to protecting trees from this phenomenon.
The burn is manifested by darkening of the cortex and the appearance of cracks and spots. Over time, the bark peels off, falls off and exposes the wood. Compositions must be highly reflective.
To prepare a whitewash composition from burns, you need to mix the following ingredients to the consistency of sour cream:
- freshly slaked lime - 3 kg;
- copper sulfate - 0.5 kg (dissolved in hot water);
- casein, clerical or PVA glue - 100 g (for better adhesion);
- water - dilute the mixture to the required density.
Did you know? Experts have noticed that whitewashing prevents the disease of apple trees with black cancer, since healthy shoots without damage are not affected by the pathogen.
The shops have special synthetic paints and ready-to-use whitewash mixtures:
- "BC-511" - the protective layer lasts 1-3 season;
- "Medical protective paint" - contact emulsion with antifungal and antimicrobial additives;
- "VD-KCh-577" - water-dispersion paint to increase the winter hardiness of trees, protection against burns and rodents with a healing effect;
- "Garden white paint" - protection against pests, diseases, sunburn, temperature fluctuations;
- FARBEX - provides winter hardiness, protection against burns and rodents, resistant to atmospheric influences and can withstand temperatures -40ºС ... + 40ºС without damage;
- "Gardener" - protection against burns, rodents, increases winter hardiness, penetrates deep into the bark, gives an aesthetic appearance;
- "Sunshine" - protection of the trunk and skeletal branches from burns, sudden changes in temperature, frost pits.
Whitewash with water-based paint
Using water-based paint as a whitewash, it is possible to avoid washing off by rain and dripping from moisture, since the paint forms an indelible film on the trunks and retains its protective properties for 2-3 years. Such paint will protect with its white color from burns, from frost, but will not create protection against pests.
It is impossible to add copper sulfate to the paint to protect against parasites, since it darkens and loses the main purpose of whitewashing. The film forms an airtight layer, the bark under it does not breathe. Apply water-based paint only on adult trees.
Did you know? Convenient applications for the Android system have been developed to help gardeners, where useful tips and work calendars are published, according to which you can choose favorable days for cleaning the garden, pruning and processing trees.
Possible mistakes when whitewashing an apple tree
By carefully studying the material of the article, you will avoid the most common mistakes of gardeners when whitewashing apple trees:
- whitewashing before the May holidays - it is useless, as it was done at the wrong time;
- work in wet and rainy periods - the layer should not drain, but dry well;
- the use of the same solutions or incorrect composition;
- the consistency should not be excessively thick and heterogeneous (thick forms a dense crust and is poorly smeared, and the liquid drains from the trunk, leaving it unprotected);
- whitewashing with a thick layer, which can peel off and sprinkle (optimal layer - 2-3 mm);
- whitewashing with unpainted areas;
- the soil does not harden when cleaning the trunks for the subsequent destruction of the removed residues, where fungi and pests can remain;
- glossing over wounds with agents that do not allow air to pass through.
Video: Whitewash of apple trees in autumn
Properly carried out whitewash will reliably protect the apple trees from sunburn, fungal infections, pests and give the garden an aesthetic appearance.