April pruning

April is not a very demanding month in the orchard. Nonetheless, a quick check to the trees provides valuable information, which can be used to perform two easy and effective practices. The practices consist of removing undesired shoots and controlling caterpillars. April check also tells you about the crop to be expected.

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Green shoots from the trunk

You can see above an old tree that was choped down and re-grafted two years before. From that moment on, only the grafted part is desired to grow. However, shoots from the rootstock are supposed to grow for some years. Cleaning the trunk is very convenient in April because shoots are very tender. You just have to pass your hand to remove the undesired shoots. The wounds heal quickly.

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Undesired shoots have been removed

The other effective practice is checking the presence of caterpillars. Aglaope infausta  feeds very actively in April. They turn into moths in May.  The caterpillars usually invade only a few trees. If you detect them on time, it is very cheap to spray with insecticide only the affected trees. With this practice, you prevent the spread of the pest. Fortunately, I have not seen any affected tree this year, so no insecticide needs to be applied.

Fruit set can be watched in April. As the last picture shows, fruit set has been quite good in 2019. A modest crop is expected for these rejuvenated trees this year.

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Fruit details

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