Autumn whitewashing of fruit trees
Colds come, at night there may already be a slight frost, although during the day the sun, peering out from behind the clouds, does not just shine, but bake. It seems that these are remnants, pieces of summer, summer heat - as if nature were giving us the debt. But this is all deceptive, the snow is about to begin to break, the ripe fruits of the mountain ash are covered with hoarfrost, they will tear up the ice of a puddle and begin to slowly freeze the soil. During this period, you should not wait for rain anymore, the first snowflakes break through the silent and gray veil every now and then - late autumn begins, a harbinger of winter.
What should a gardener do in this difficult transitional period for trees, a season when warm days are replaced by frosty nights - of course, protect your pets in a variety of ways. There are many ways to protect against frost - this is shelter for the winter, and hilling, and bending lashes and trunks to the ground. But this is more suited to pliable, shrubby crops.
Today we’ll talk about trees, about protecting them in the form of whitewashing trunks before the first branches, about the need for such protection, timing, the optimal composition for whitewashing and its proper preparation, and of course, about the whitewashing technology itself.
- Why do you need whitewashing trees?
- Choose the composition of whitewash for fruit trees
- Rules for whitewashing fruit trees
Why do you need whitewashing trees?
In fact, not everyone understands the meaning of whitewashing events and more than half of people believe that the foundations of trees are whitewashed only for beauty. For example, on the first and ninth of May, when the malls look truly festive and beautiful. In fact, beauty is only a fraction of its benefits: yes, it’s nice to look at the whitewashed and clean garden, but, above all, with the help of whitewash we protect the garden from many harmful influences.
The rays of the sun are necessary and useful, but sometimes they are harmful, for example, in the garden, when during the thaw they can cause severe burns on the bark of a tree, turning further into bundles of this very bark, its decay and deep wounds. The latter can even cause the death of the tree if a serious infection gets inside. Especially severe burns occur when snow turns to crust, turns into a mirror, then a beam concentrated on a tree can even burn a small hole in the bark (but this does not happen often).
If the tree trunks are covered with a white color before the first branches in time, then the sun's rays will be reflected from them like from a mirror, and then it will be possible to say with confidence that your garden will also avoid strong overheating during provocative thaws in winter and early spring, and, of course severe burns, leading ultimately to cracking of the bark.
We equalize temperature differences
Probably everyone knows their harm in everyday life from the school day. Fruit trees are no exception. The tree bark not covered by white whitewashing can sometimes quite warm up during the day, and actively cool at night. If you touch the bark at noon and midnight on the same day, you will notice a big difference in its temperature (if we are talking about late autumn, of course).
Whitewashing plays the role of a kind of fur coat, which literally protects the white trunk from heating, and at night there will simply be nothing to cool, and the temperature difference will be minimal. What are the advantages of this - of course, the absence of frost-holes - is actually wide open of an open gate for a wide variety of infections, including pathogenic spores, and other pathogens of hundreds of diseases.
By simple whitewashing, which usually takes no more than a short autumn day, you can protect plants from a variety of pathogenic microorganisms hiding in the corners of the bark and spores that have arranged themselves warm winter apartments. Typically, the composition for whitewashing, in addition to all very familiar lime, also includes elements such as fungicides, that is, drugs designed specifically to eliminate the unwanted fungal infection that survived and went into hibernation. Fungicides are able to show activity not only on the surface of the cortex, but also penetrate deep into it, showing their activity even there.
Choose the composition of whitewash for fruit trees
Cook at home. Let's start with the composition, which is prepared with our own hands, of course, after wearing protective rubber gloves on them, and if this is a girl, then we also tied my hair in a short bundle and put on a respirator. To begin with, we will analyze just the elementary composition, namely, slaked lime, or rather, its solution in elementary white.
In order to make our solution just perfect, we must strictly observe the ratio of all its components, that is, take 2.5 kilograms of freshly slaked lime, three hundred grams of copper sulphate or five hundred grams of iron sulphate, and all this in terms of a standard bucket of ten liters of water with adding 100 g of white.
Secret from the master! If you add only a tablespoon of carbolic acid to this solution, then you can, among other things, protect your favorite trees from attacks by mice and rats. I can’t say that the method is 100% reliable, but in one of the sections of our institute it worked perfectly.
About the solution: this is not a novelty at all, but rather a classic, a solution that gardeners have been using, probably since the time the first full-scale garden was laid. I can’t say that the level of protection of trees is very high, there are drawbacks, but the most important trump card is the meager price and elementary nature, so to speak, of the production of this composition (and popularity, of course).
When whitewashing young trees, so as not to harm them, it is necessary to reduce the concentration of lime in the solution by half.
How to make slaked lime?
Often at the disposal of the gardener are large clumps of limestone. Such lime is considered quicklime, it needs to be extinguished. To do this, water is very carefully added to the lime, a reaction occurs in which water can boil. About half of the water should be part of the lime. Next, 2.5 kg of already slaked lime is diluted with water, 500 g of copper sulphate is added, and with this composition you can process the trees gently, from top to bottom, of course, protecting your eyes.
Option Two - Grandfather
If it is not possible to make a whitewash, then the sticks can be coated with a mixture of clay and mullein. To prepare such an interesting composition, you need to take 2 kg of hydrated lime (how to extinguish, we already know), a kilogram of clay, a kilogram of mullein and 300 g of copper sulfate. Trees should be coated with this composition, but they are usually used when there are few plants in the plot, literally 2-3.
Option Three - Ready Mixes
Ready-made mixes can also be seen on the shelves, they are also made on the basis of lime and clay, and on the packaging it is beautifully written - “breathable”. Everything would be fine, but such a composition will last a couple of months on a tree from strength, and if it suddenly rains, then it will be washed off all at once. Given this, if you want to use such mixtures, then get ready to at least double whitewash your favorites.
Often on the shelves we can see special garden water-based or acrylic paints, on which it is written - “garden”. How do they differ from ordinary ones? In fact, in their composition there are components that protect trees, for example, in the composition of acrylic paint there are antifungal and bactericidal components, they quite reliably protect tree trunks from 90% of pathogens. However, I will immediately give advice: acrylic paint does not breathe at all, so it is undesirable to use it on young plants at least.
On a jar with garden water-based paint proudly flaunts that it will protect against any winter frosts. However, although it may have the effect of heating the tree, it does not completely protect against harmful insects. Therefore, do not forget to add any copper-containing preparation (250-300 g) per liter before stirring it, stirring everything well.
Rules for whitewashing fruit trees
Well, I think so much has been said about the formulations that it’s time to start the whitewashing rules. Usually they carry it out at the border of autumn and winter, when rains are excluded to the maximum extent, otherwise it will be necessary either to carry out everything in advance or eliminate the rain consequences. Usually during this period the temperature is set at around a couple of degrees below zero with a tendency to decrease. Of course, for whitewashing, pick up a dry day, it is desirable that the trunks are dry and the forecast does not transmit rains for at least a couple of days.
We prepare trees for whitewashing
Chose the time, it's time to cook the trees. Before using any of the above compositions, you need to carefully inspect the tree trunk from below to the very first branches, which will also have to be whitened. We take a scraper very thin, metal, better with a strong plastic handle, and the trunks of all the trees in the garden and the lower bases of the skeletal branches as carefully as possible, but carefully cleaned from the diseased and already dried bark, as well as from all old growths and, of course, moss .
Lichens are your choice, it seems that they do not cause harm, but for me, the general appearance of the tree is spoiled, and it is somehow not very pleasant to treat the composition of trunks in the presence of lichens.
The trick of getting rid of lichens
By the way, getting rid of lichens is not so easy. Here you need to do something like washing the trunks with a solution, which should consist of a kilogram of ordinary table salt, a couple of kilograms of wood ash and a couple of pieces of laundry soap. All this must be diluted in a bucket of water warmed up to room temperature.
By the way, before such treatment, so as not to salt the soil, line the base of the trunk with plastic wrap and bend its edges so that you can collect the solution with its subsequent removal from the site. Washing can be done with a metal brush, wetting it more often in this solution.
The main thing when working with the trunk is not to damage the bark of the plant itself. Immediately after cleaning the entire trunk and the wound, and damage, even the smallest ones, you need to treat it with garden varnish, carefully smearing it in the cracks. If there is no var, make a putty yourself: mix two parts of clay and a part of manure, adding one gram of copper sulfate and a pinch of straw dust. Next, mix everything thoroughly and do something like window putty, for trees this is the very thing.
Finally grab the brush
So, everything is ready, the compositions are prepared, the mushrooms are waiting for protection and renewal, it's time to take up the brushes. In choosing a brush, you can not particularly philosophize, but you can take any, from the cheapest to the most expensive, anyway for the next season you are unlikely to use it. The only thing I can advise is to take brushes according to the size of the trunk.
As for the whitewashing technique, never rush, try to paint over every part of the surface and start from the bottom of the trunk. If you start from the top, then the whitewash or other composition will flow along the trunk, and in the end it turns out that you seem to have painted it completely, but in fact there will be thick drops that will simply fall off over time. Usually they rise, whitewashing to the height of skeletal branches up to three tens of centimeters (that is, a stool to help you).
In conclusion. About the rains: as soon as they pass, we run to the garden, examining in what condition everything is. Perhaps you will have to redo something or do it all if your garden is dear to you.
About the film: I got an interesting acquaintance who wrapped the trunks with cling film - cheap, fast and cheerful! The film perfectly retains moisture and literally pushes on the development of various kinds of mold and fungi, they live there and multiply, as in a greenhouse. So, never do such stupidity.
Good luck and, as always, I’m ready and will try to answer your questions in the comments!