Spring Orchard Sprays
Depending on specific pest or disease problems, some orchardists may consider organic sprays including the ones listed below.
Check out POP’s guides to orchard applications of:
• Compost Tea Sprays for Orchards
• Neem Oil Sprays
• Kaolin Clay Sprays
• Sulfur Sprays and Early Spring Management Techniques
• Pyrethrin Orchard Sprays
• Bt: Bacillus thuringiensis Orchard Sprays
• Spinosad Orchard Sprays
Spring Weeding and Compost/Mulch Application
With the wet weather and warming temperatures, many weeds are growing rapidly. Time to get out there and edit the plant palette! POP's weed identification guide is available for sale on our website and we always have free copies to distribute to community orchard partners.
Building healthy soil is key to supporting trees’ health, resilience and yields. Weed around the base of trees, and spread at least one or two inches of chipped winter prunings, shredded leaves, and/or mulch or compost in the spring. Check out POP’s guide to Ramial Wood Chips and Weeding in Place.
Fireblight Removal and Emergency Pruning
With dormant season well behind us, most pruning should be limited to emergency pruning only.
Keep an eye out for any diseased, damaged, or dead wood that should be pruned away no matter the season. Pay special attention to the base of trees - especially of the stone fruit varieties: apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines - and prune away root suckers, the quick upright growth that can be a cover for dreaded borers, which make a home beneath trunk wood.
Keep an eye out for fire blight damage on apples and pears in June. Be sure to prune back to healthy wood at least 8 to 12" below signs of damage to prevent further spread of this disease.
Remember: use sharp, rust-free hand tools and sanitize between every cut for disease prone trees during the growing season. For easy disinfecting, we recommend carrying a spray bottle with you of rubbing (isopropyl 70%) alcohol or a bleach solution (1 part bleach: 10 parts water) to wipe down tools.
Juneberries, strawberries, and goumis are already ripening, to be followed soon by raspberries, cherries, mulberries, currants, honeyberries, and more!
Enjoy the spring harvests! And may all stay safe and healthy in this challenging time.