Preparing for Winter
Clifford Cheeseman and Roger Warr shared the benefit of their knowledge with input from the president, John Trott.
Most trees are now in their dormancy and it is time to clean up the pots and remove moss which encourages bugs and this in turn encourages birds to “rootle around” and damage roots. A wash of lime sulphur will kill off bugs but be sure to protect posts and earth when applying to the trees. Clean off the bark with a toothbrush first and use a dilute of 20 /1 for evergreens and 30/1 for deciduous. Vitax is also a good wash. Make sure the pots are secured to avoid wind damage. If the soil is not free draining cover with a breathable membrane to shed excess water during wet spells. However in prolonged dry spells it may be necessary to water, especially evergreens (but not late in the day). Snow is not generally a problem though it is advisable to protect cedars and cypress.
Wait until late February/March to dilute feed deciduous trees and azaleas; the latter can have a feed now. Check the azaleas for mite and use eco-friendly SB Invigorator which is sold under licence by local company Growth Technology; also good for juniper mite
Frosts won’t harm trees but continual freezing does, so give extra protection if sustained cold temperatures are forecast. Check pots regularly for cracks as roots may get exposed which can cause trees to die and try to avoid using in-turned pots as these split more easily.
Take leggy growth off maples especially but be sure to use a sealant after cutting.
It is OK to leave wire on pines but remove from deciduous specimens as wire acts as a conductor for the cold. Deciduous trees can be kept over winter in a garage providing there is light but don’t forget to water..