Summertime Fruit Tree Care
Protecting Your Tree
Trunk wraps are useful tools to prevent a variety of problems including sunscald, rodent damage, insects, and mechanical damage. There are many types of trunk wraps available, including Spiral Tree Guards. Simply wrap your tree with one of these low-cost options and it will be protected the whole season long! If you weed eat around your trees, protect the trunk with a Tree and Plant Guard. Sunscald can also be prevented with a coat of white paint. Use interior latex paint, and dilute with equal parts water. For newly planted trees, paint a single coat from just below soil level all the way to the top of the trunk. If the canopy has not grown in enough by the second year to shade the trunk, a second coat of paint should be applied at that time. For older trees, paint any areas of the trunk or larger limbs that could be subject to sunscald.
Deer and other large browsers can quickly kill a young tree and damage your harvest, either by eating it or by scratching their antlers on the trunk. Deer fencing is the most simple and effective solution to keeping your tree safe from deer, elk, cows, or whatever your local wild (or not so wild) pest may be. If fencing is not a suitable option for your landscape, there are many other tools available, such as motion-activated sprinklers, deer repellent sprays, and glow-in-the-dark “predator” eyes. Birds are also a threat to the harvest, and seem to know just the right time to fly in and eat your fruits just before you plan on harvesting them. Keep the birds off with bird netting before they become a problem. You can also try bird scare tools such as the bird chaser balloon, but you must be vigilant in switching these out every week or the birds will get used to the once-scary object.