Deciduous fruit tree advice from Plantnet

HMAA member and Plantnet’s Marketing Co-ordinator Emma Swan shares new information on how climate change may influence fruit formation and has some tips on blueberries. This story was part of the regular newsletter distributed by Plantnet.

Here we all are, right in the crux of bareroot season in the middle of winter! Bareroot season is not just about buying; it’s about planning, preparing, planting, and pruning deciduous trees. It’s about incorporating a new asset, or nurturing existing trees in your garden, balcony, or courtyard. Whether fruiting or ornamental, a new tree brings diversity, aesthetic appeal, fruit, shade, and interest.

On the flip side, July is also a great time to remove any redundant fruit trees. Trees that haven’t been performing (note- many fruit trees take years to begin fruiting well), have significant pest or disease damage (for example, borers or gummosis), or have died. It’s wise not to replant the same type of tree in the same hole, particularly if the tree was struggling with disease. Select a different planting site or try a different type of fruit tree in its place.

Similarly, a fruit tree on the boundary of its ideal climatic range may not receive the required chill units and may not develop flowers and fruit.

If this happens to you, it’s useful to keep in mind the climatic influences at play. Not every year is a good year for fruit and, equally, a poor season for one fruit type can mean an excellent season for another! In saying this, there is no cause for concern yet, just keep looking after your fruit trees and they will return the favour!

Our dwarf blueberries, Burst® and Kisses®, are beginning to bud and set flowers now! It’s a great time to have a refresher on our fertiliser trials, and give trial 1 a go for the best harvest!

If you have only just purchased your first blueberry over winter, or plan to do so in spring, don’t feel disheartened about a very small crop, or even no crop! Young plants should focus on growth, and by doing so will produce a bigger, better harvest next season.

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