Preparing for winter…

You don’t need me to remind you that apart from March, 2012 has been one long cold soggy year. It has been easier to get some plants established and harder for others. At least it is one of those years where forgetting to water your newly planted trees did not matter. The initial growth of the Cercis was late this year due to the cool and long spring, but when the plants did become active they grew well. However it is unlikely that in such a wet year the root growth has been very significant and so in 2013 it will still be very important to make sure that plants from 2012 still are watered regularly. The new growth on the Cercis, particularly late growth will be poorly ripened and so still soft. There will inevitably be some die back of this soft growth if we get significant frosts during the coming winter. Even a summer application of Potash would not have prevented this and the effects will be noticed in many different genus of trees and shrubs if we have a winter like 2010/11. However the Cercis will grow back well next spring even if the shoots have died back to the main stem. This die back is less pronounced once Cercis become established and have the power in the roots to give strong lateral growth each season which is ripened well enough to prevent die back and also to give some flowers the following spring (depending on cultivar). Ensure you have rabbit wire around the trees if there is any risk of attack. It is best to take off any plastic guards and replace with wire. This allows the stem to be well ventilated and reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Another precaution following such a wet year is a light spray of Bordeaux mixture (can easily be purchased in garden centres) in November and again in March which can reduce the risk of infections. Ensure the tree is not waterlogged. If you have a Ruby Falls then sit back and imagine how nice the weeping structure will look in the winters to come as it develops.

We at Treetyme wish you a great Christmas and winter season. Spring will soon be here…