Thursday, January 8

Winter wash

It's quite a few years now that we had a problem with our plum tree. As usual in spring it was full of blossom and fruit had set. In summer suddenly the leaves started to die.
Soon all the leaves on the tree were brown and shrivelled.
We thought that the tree was dead but then in late summer new leaves started to emerge. On researching the problem we found that the  tree had been badly affected by an infestation of Brachycaudus helichrysi otherwise known as  plum leaf-curling aphid. ( I've a page on my website that describes this in more detail).


To control this it was recommended that the tree be sprayed with a winter wash. The wash is described as a totally natural product based on vegetable oils. Ideally the first spray should have been carried out by December but on our first attempt the sprayer refused to work and then the winds came so our first opportunity to spray was this week.
A second application will be required before the buds burst in spring.

We also sprayed our other fruit trees to try and reduce the overwintering pests. The only problem is that the plum tree has grown a lot since those early days and isn't quite as easy to spray.


PS - Thank you to Snowbird at Gardens and Wildlife for nominating me for an award. Pop over and pay her a visit.

23 comments:

  1. There's just so much that can go wrong with fruit, isn't there? Fingers crossed that this does the trick and that you end up with a bumper harvest.

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    1. It's been OK since we have been using this spray, Jo

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  2. I really need to do a dormant oil spray on my fruit trees too. I usually forget about them until they start leafing out and then it is too late.

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    1. We're hoping to spray again before the buds break, Daphne.

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  3. What is the name of the spray? We had similar problems with our Victorias last summer
    happy New Year to you Sue.
    Gill

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    1. Gill
      Go to page on my website and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There is a link to Vitax Growing Success that takes you to it on Amazon where you can read about it,

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    2. Garden centres sell it - you don't need to go to Amazon for it,

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  4. I think my Crab Apple tree could do with a Winter Wash. It never gets as badly hit as your plum tree, but every year lots of the flower-bearing twigs go brown and shrivelled like that. The trouble is, the tree is far too big to spray with a "domestic" hand-sprayer.

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    1. We can't spray all our plum tree, Mark but spraying as much as you can helps

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  5. When fruit grows well, it can't be beaten as a crop; but when things go wrong.... and they so often do.... sigh. At least you're addressing the issue. Here's to healthier, happier trees.

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    1. Since we have used the spray we haven't had a problem Sarah other than on small parts we miss.

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  6. I can see that your plum tree is not exactly easy to spray, fingers crossed, I've never had a problem with mine. I get the dreaded leaf curl on my peach tree. Thanks for the mention Sue.xxx

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    1. We've taken the peach into the greenhouse Dina to try and control the peach leaf curl.

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  7. I'm interested to know that it's based on natural oils, I might get some for my little fruit trees - prevention is better than the cure isn't it.

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    1. Absolutely CJ anything that helps

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  8. Luckily my trees are kept small by being in pots. Judging by the state of some of the leaves last year they could do with a spray. Thanks for the reminder, well done on your award.

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    1. Don't leave it much longer though Jo

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  9. I guess you will pick lots of fruits next summer-autumn

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  10. Hoep the plant survive well and produce handful of harvest! ;)

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    1. I'm sure it will survive Malar,

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  11. Our plum tree is was badly damaged by a careless builder a few years ago then last year's storm took most of it but the bit that survived produced buckets of fruit. Hope the spray works and yours is a survivor too!

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    1. The spray has worked in the past Patricia so I'm confident that the tree will be fine, Yours sounds as though it had shock treatment

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