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Protecting apple trees from blossoming too early

 
Eric Philson
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Wanting to plant apple trees on a south facing slope this spring. I'm thinking that if I place an eliptical Hugelkultur bed on the downhill side of a cluster of trees, it will shade the roots from early warm up, possibly slowing blossoms till frost danger is past. Anyone think it could work?
 
Eric Philson
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Or, what if I encircled with beds to dam cold air around the bases of the trees? I'm in Zone 5.
 
Dale Hodgins
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You can whitewash the trunks and larger branches, so that they reflect sunlight and shovel snow into the trough that the hugel provides. Both strategies will get things started a little later in spring.
 
Eric Philson
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Thanks for the reply. Yeah, that seems like a good possible combo.
 
William James
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I recently heard of an example of prolonging winter for fruit trees and it had to do with spraying (something - water?) on the trees to have them freeze more often in the early spring.

In intensive orchards I heard they do this on a large-scale.

William
 
Michael Qulek
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Eric Philson wrote:Wanting to plant apple trees on a south facing slope this spring.
What I've read is to really slow budbreak you need to plant on a north facing slope. That's what I've done. I tried to plant more frost sensitive species such as peachs towards the top of the slope, because cold, frosty air tends to settle in the lowest spot, so it's away from the trees.
 
Eric Philson
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Problem is, there are two farms that I'm looking at doing this on. One is my own, and it has very little north slope. The vast amjority of the ground is a gentle south slope. The other piece is an 85 acre parcel that I'm in discussion with the owner regarding managing. There is also limited south slope, but there is some, and much more than my own place. But I want to put in more apples than will work on the north sloping faces.
 
Bev Huth
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Misting the trees with water in freezing spring temperatures is actually done to protect the trees form the freeze. I know counter intuitive to coat them in ice to protect form freezing but, that is why the commercial citrus growers do it and, it works.

I've done the same to apple, pear, plum, apricot and cherry trees here that blossomed early. It works, I got fruit. I have one plum tree that does it to me every year - it has buds today and will blossom soon - three warm days is all that one needs to decide it's spring - even if that's too early for it to be spring. We have a frost coming next week, if the forecast holds, so I'll have to ice the plum tree again.
 
Michael Qulek
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Eric Philson wrote: The other piece is an 85 acre parcel that I'm in discussion with the owner regarding managing. .
Actually, this I think is the key, talking with the neighbors. Internet advice get trumped every time by the real-world experience of your neighbors. Drive around to your neighbors that already have trees and ask them what works. You'll be surprised at how much people will want to talk and give lots of experience.

Most of my neigbors are cattle ranchers, so their experience with fruit trees is limited, but whatever a neighbor mentions that works, say an Arkansas Black, gets planted in my orchard also. What I'm finding now is I'm the new "go to" guy that knows about trees, and the neighbors will crowd around to watch if they ask for a demonstration about grafting.
 
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