How to warm apricot trees for the winter?
Apricot is one of the most popular fruit trees cultivated by domestic gardeners. The culture is unpretentious in care, easy to grow, does not require special growing conditions. However, in order to get a decent harvest of delicious and fragrant apricots, before wintering the tree, you should take care of its proper and timely warming.
Do I need to warm the apricot for the winter
Apricot belongs to the category of plants that are characterized by a low level of frost resistance and poor resistance to minus temperature indicators. That is why when growing a tree in the northern and central regions, it is imperative to take care of sheltering the tree for the winter. In the southern climate culture is extremely rare.
Important! Do not ignore the apricot shelter procedure for the winter, since such events are the most important step in preparing the tree for the coming frosts, affecting the future crop yield.
Dates and methods of shelters
Preparation of a tree for wintering begins long before the onset of cold weather, namely: after a full harvest. In the fall, a number of measures are taken to care for the culture, which are aimed at its adaptation to wintering:
- Fertilizer application. After the entire crop is fully harvested, the plant is fed using products with a high content of phosphorus and potassium, which increase the immunity of the apricot and its frost resistance. Nitrogen-containing products should not be used, as they negatively affect resistance to low temperatures.
- Whitewash trunk and branches. One of the best protective measures is the whitewashing of the plant with a solution prepared from 2.5 kg of lime, 0.4 kg of copper sulphate and 1.5 tbsp. paste made from flour. Such a mixture will protect the tree from parasites and ailments, and also have a beneficial effect on its immunity.
- Shoot pruning. Before wintering, they carry out shaping, sanitary and regulatory pruning. At the same time, the first is needed for the proper distribution of valuable substances within the plant, the second is for awakening new growth points, the third is for rejuvenating the tree, removing old, rotten, dry and weak branches that impede the full development of the culture.
The methods of sheltering the tree for the winter will largely depend on the region where it grows. In warmer areas, summer residents are limited to mulching the trunk circle with a 20-cm layer of mulch and covering the root neck with a breathable fabric. As for the cold northern regions, there it is better to cover the culture completely, additionally wrapping it on top with a PVC film.
Important! Cutting of shoots is recommended at a temperature not lower than +9°WITH.
How to properly cover apricot
Warming apricot implies a series of events:
- Mulching the near-stem zone with organic materials: sawdust, hay, straw, compost, etc. Some gardeners use dry leaves as mulch, but experts do not recommend this, since they can be an excellent environment for the development and reproduction of insect pests.
- Shelter of the trunk and skeletal shoots with breathable fiber.
In case of severe frosts, the trees are additionally covered with plastic wrap. However, resorting to the use of polyethylene, it is imperative to take care of the free access of oxygen to the apricot root system, otherwise the roots may rot and rot.
What materials to use
Apricot, according to historical information, is a native of Armenia, which means it prefers to grow in a warm, sunny and comfortable climate. That is why when growing plants in other climatic zones than the south, it requires careful shelter for the winter. To protect the tree from low temperatures, it is necessary to use a high-quality, natural material that passes air well and does not lead to the formation of a "greenhouse effect". As a shelter it is allowed to use:
- natural burlap;
- agrospan, agrofibre and other industrial breathable materials;
- straw or hay;
- humus or compost;
- sawdust or branches of spruce.
Did you know? 200 g of eaten apricots provide a person with the necessary daily dose of vitamin A, which improves vision, normalizes metabolic processes, activates the growth and development of new cells.
Shelter technology for young and old apricot
It is especially important to pay attention to the preparation for the winter of a young immature apricot, which has an inferiorly developed root system that can freeze during prolonged cold weather. The trunk and skeletal branches of the plant are very susceptible to frostbite, so experts recommend that young apricot seedlings be fully insulated.
The trunk and shoots should be wrapped with natural breathing material, for example, burlap or special insulation. The trunk circle also needs to be covered with a layer of mulch. In winter, when snow falls, you can make a snowdrift around the tree about 1 m high, which will further protect the culture from the cold.
Video: How to cover apricot for the winter
Old trees growing in the middle lane do not need such insulation. To protect plants, it is enough to mulch the soil of the near-trunk circle, which will make it possible to warm the root system in the event of a snowless winter and, if necessary, remove excess moisture from the root neck. In the northern regions, old trees are sheltered in a similar way to young trees, but before the procedure, they cut the skeletal branches to a height of 2.5–3 m.
Features of warming in different regions
The preparation of apricot for the winter will be largely determined by the weather conditions in the region. And if in the southern zones this event can be ignored, then in the northern zones the lack of shelter can lead to the complete death of the plant.
Did you know? Apricots perfectly help to cope with anemia, i.e., increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood. 100 g of fruit can fully replace 250 g of the liver.
In outskirts of Moscow
The climate of the Moscow Region is characterized by instability, short wet summers and long, cold winters. So that a sudden decrease in temperature indicators does not lead to freezing of the buds and shoots, the tree should be insulated several weeks before the expected frosts. To shelter the culture, natural material is used that can perfectly pass air. They wrap the trunk of the plant and its skeletal branches. With strong winds, the culture is additionally covered with a plastic film.
It is mandatory to mulch the soil using straw, hay or sawdust
In the Volga region
When apricot is cultivated in the Volga zones, the plants are prepared for wintering using a different method. First of all, in the autumn, trimming branches to a length of 2.5–3 m is carried out. Next, the soil of the trunk circle is covered with a layer of mulch, which are perfectly suitable for spruce branches, straw or sawdust.
The tree trunk is covered with a special insulating material - agrospan, which is fixed to wooden pegs, and then sprinkled with a small layer of soil.
In the Urals and Siberia
In the cold regions of the Urals and Siberia, the preparation of the plant for wintering is carried out in a similar way, however, additional care is taken for the removal of melt water from under the root processes of the tree.The fact is that in spring, when the snow begins to melt, water is actively absorbed into the soil, thereby provoking the root system to rot and, as a result, its subsequent decay. To avoid such situations, experienced gardeners make the special paths required for natural runoff.
Important! Many summer residents are taking care of the drainage of meltwater even at the stage of planting seedlings. A spacious, sunny place on a small hill is selected for the young plant, and before wintering, the earth around the trunk is carefully mulched with sawdust or branches of spruce.
What will happen if you do not cover the apricot for the winter
As noted above, shelter for the winter is one of the most important apricot care procedures, which not only protects the plant from the harmful effects of low temperatures, but also contributes to a better crop yield in the next season.
If you ignore such an event, you can encounter a number of serious problems, some of which may be fatal for the tree.
Frostbite for apricot can cause:
- a significant decrease in plant immunity;
- a complete lack of yield or low yields;
- susceptibility to various kinds of diseases and pests;
- complete destruction of the tree.
Did you know? An apricot tree in the absence of pruning can reach a height of more than 14 m. During flowering, flowers of various colors are formed on it: white, pink and even red.
Apricot is a thermophilic culture that needs good shelter for the winter for good fruiting. To prepare the plant for wintering, it should provide competent care in the fall, which includes timely fertilizer application, pruning of shoots and whitewashing of the trunk. Despite a wide range of preparatory work, the efforts of gardeners in the next season will be rewarded with a worthy harvest of tasty, healthy and extremely fragrant fruits.