Fruit trees: painting against frost cracks and game bites

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The most reliable way to protect fruit trees from frost cracking is to use a white coat. But why are there cracks in the trunk in winter? The reason is the interaction between solar radiation on clear winter days and night frosts. Especially in January and February, when the sun is already strong and the nights are extremely cold, the risk of frost damage is particularly high. As long as the fruit trees have not yet formed a protective bark, they should therefore receive a bark protection. This can be done by a board leaning against the south side of the trees. However, a white coat is better: The special coating reflects the sun, so the trunk heats up less and the temperature fluctuations are lower. The painting should be renewed annually.

Avoid game bites

Damage to a fruit tree trunk by game bite

Damage to a fruit tree trunk by game bite

The bark of apple trees is a delicacy for rabbits, because when the snow cover is closed there is often a lack of food: plums and cherries are not spared and the garden fence is usually no obstacle. Protect young trees with tight-knit wire or a plastic cuff, put them right at the plantation. Since the cuffs are open on one side, they expand with the growth of the tree trunk and do not tie it.
For larger fruit trees you surround the trunks with a reed mat. But even a white coat against frost cracks repels rabbit. Tip: You can optimize the effect of the paint by mixing about 100 milliliters of fine quartz sand and horn meal per liter before application.

Material for a white painting

The ingredients for the white finish: special white lime-based paint for trees (for example Neudorff's organic tree paint), organic horn meal, quartz sand, bucket and wooden stick for mixing, root brush, tablespoon, wide brush

Prepare white paint

Mix the paint on a dry and frost-free day. The paste used here can be processed directly, we take about 500 milliliters. If you are using a powdered product, stir it with water in the bucket following the packing instructions. A tablespoon of quartz sand ensures that rabbits and other animals literally bite their teeth and spare the bark.

Mix white paint

Add quartz sand to the white paint

Mix the white paint according to the manufacturer. The addition of quartz sand helps to banish rabbit

We also add a tablespoon of cornmeal. Its smell and taste is intended to additionally deter herbivores such as rabbits and deer. Stir well until sand and horn meal have combined with the color. If the consistency of the additives has become too firm, dilute the paste with a little water.

Add cornmeal to the white paint

Mix white paint

Mix the horn meal well with the white paint

The stem should be dry and clean before painting to keep the color well. Rub dirt and loose bark off the bark with the brush. With a brush, apply the paint liberally from the base of the trunk to the crown. After drying, the white sticks to the trunk for a long time, so that one coat per winter should suffice. In addition to protection against frost cracks, the trunk color cares for the bark and supplies the tree with trace elements.

Clean the tree trunk before the white paint

Apply white paint with a brush

Remove loose bark with a brush and apply with a thick brush the paint. For particularly long and severe winters, if necessary, renew the protective coating in March

In the summer, the white paint does not harm the fruit tree, but can even prevent sunburn damage. As the trunk grows thicker, the color fades gradually.

Video Board: 12 Fruit Trees that Thrive in the Desert with Little Care.

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