What to do if the apple tree has not dropped leaves for the winter?

At the time of autumn leaf fall, different fruit crops and even individual varieties dump foliage at different times. As a rule, winter varieties of apple trees get rid of leaves much later than summer ones. However, there are times when trees meet the winter season with leaves. What is the reason for the lack of leaf fall in apple trees, and what measures to take in a similar situation - further in the article.

Why the apple tree has not dropped its leaves for the winter: the main reasons

Leaf fall is a natural, biologically necessary phenomenon that protects vegetation from moisture loss, and also contributes to the further successful growth and development of trees. Before the onset of cold weather, the apple tree must drop its leaves and enter a dormant state.

Important! Lack of leaf fall is not the norm. And even if the apple tree normally survived the wintering, and then bloomed, it is impossible to leave the situation unchanged.

If the culture has thrown off foliage at the right time, then you can be sure that all vegetative processes are proceeding correctly, the bark on the young shoots has ripened, and the frost resistance of the plant has increased. If in due time the leaves on the tree have not fallen, this is a sign that various chemical processes continue to occur inside the plant, and the dormant phase has not come.

Subsequently, this situation can provoke poor fruiting and low yields.

The reasons that the leaves remained on the apple tree may be:

  1. Violations in feeding schemes. Untimely, too late introduction of humus at the end of autumn or excessive feeding of the culture with nitrogen-containing preparations in the second half of the summer season can activate the growth of green mass.
  2. Incorrect landing. A seedling that has been planted in a deep, well-seasoned pit can extend its ripening period and not discard the leaves.
  3. Violations in the humidification scheme. Excessive moisture around the seedling, caused by heavy watering or a large amount of rainfall in the fall, does not allow the plant to slow down its development. In some cases, under warm climatic conditions, even repeated growth of shoots is possible.
  4. Wrong variety. Sometimes the reason for the absence of leaf fall is considered to be a mismatch between the culture grade and the cultivation region. So, for example, southern varieties, which are characterized by a long ripening period, simply do not have time to finish it when they grow in the middle lane.
  5. Anomalies of nature. One of the possible reasons for the lack of leaf fall in trees may be abnormal phenomena in nature, when the cold comes too early and is accompanied by a sharp decrease in temperature indicators.
  6. Ailments. Some diseases, such as a bacterial burn, can cause the leaves to hold on the tree quite firmly and for a long time, while they turn black and become covered with a characteristic wax coating.

In any case, regardless of the reasons for the lack of leaf fall, summer residents should take a number of measures to solve the described problem.

Did you know? Leaf fall is a process that allows trees to clear themselves of harmful substances. The fact is that the leaves accumulate a large number of harmful mineral and chemical components during the season. For this reason, it is not recommended to burn fallen leaves, since it has high toxicity, especially in crops growing near roads.

What to do

To avoid problems with the fact that the apple tree did not take leaves before wintering, a few simple but effective recommendations will help:

  1. Planting and selection of seedlings. Planting young seedlings is necessary at the recommended time so that the tree can acclimatize, take root and carefully prepare for winter holidays. At the same time, experienced gardeners advise not to use too capricious varieties of culture in need of a warm climate, suitable for cultivation in the southern regions. It is best to purchase planting material in local nurseries that offer varieties designed for a specific local climate.

  2. Fertilizers It is very important to follow the fertilizer application. During the autumn planting of a seedling, only phosphorus or potassium fertilizers must be applied to the planting pit, since nitrogen-containing preparations will activate the growth of green mass. Nitrogen fertilizers and organics must be applied in the early spring, after winter awakening.

  3. Whitewash. Before the onset of frost, you need to have time to whiten the trunk of the plant and skeletal branches. Such events will protect the culture from insect parasites and help prepare for rest.

  4. Preparation in the winter. If, according to the observations of summer residents, the apple tree is not going to drop foliage, then it is recommended to take additional measures to protect the tree from the cold. To do this, close the trunk circle, wrap the barrel with breathable material, for example, burlap, if necessary, you can build a shelter.

Even if all of the above procedures were carried out competently and in a timely manner, while the apple does not notice inhibition of growth processes, then experienced gardeners advise using special preparations for the forced discharge of leaves.

It should be noted that before the beginning of foliage in the middle of the tree, a unique organic component is produced - ethylene. Other potent growth promoters are coumarin and abscisic acid.

Important! To treat the trees, it is forbidden to use toxic drugs, such as Desitrel, Gromadin, Etafon, magnesium chlorate, because they cause a lot of side reactions: damage to the growth point, deterioration of the viability of the culture.

To inhibit growth processes and forced removal of leaves from the apple tree, synthetic inhibitors are used - defoliants, which are sprayed with trees. Once inside the tissues, drugs block growth, accelerate cell aging, which causes artificial leaf fall.

Treatment of plants with defoliants must be carried out at the beginning of the natural process of leaf fall. Earlier spraying reduces the effectiveness. In the process of defoliation, do not exceed the dosages indicated in the instructions, as well as carry out the “for prophylaxis” procedure, as this can lead to the death of the kidneys and halt the development of culture.

The consequences of the lack of leaf fall

With the advent of autumn, all deciduous plants gradually begin to prepare for winter recreation. A decrease in temperature indicators, a reduction in daylight hours, and a change in moisture level lead to the fact that the growth processes inside the tree are stopped, the bark is fully ripened and is ready to endure a cold winter.

Did you know? Some countries use the phenomenon of leaf fall as one of the areas of tourism. Bright, colorful and extremely beautiful fall foliage in the USA, Canada, and the countries of Eastern Europe annually attract millions of tourists from all over the world.

In wintertime, the water in the ground is in a frozen state and is not able to enter the tree in the usual way. When the apple tree goes to sleep, it does not allow the moisture remaining inside it to evaporate.

The absence of leaf fall indicates that the natural biological cycle of the culture is disrupted, which means that it is not ready for winter. During great frosts, the most vulnerable part of the tree can freeze: the tops of annual seedlings, part of flower buds, etc. The plant can also be seriously damaged early. in the spring: with a lack of moisture that evaporated in the winter, it simply dries out.

Common mistakes of gardeners, and how to prevent them

One of the most common reasons for the lack of autumn leaf fall in apple trees is poor-quality preparation of the tree for wintering. If the snow has already fallen and the first frosts have begun, it is forbidden to take any measures. In this case, the only way out is to hope for a not-so-cold, gentle winter.

Many summer residents make a gross mistake - they take on a pruning shears and cut leaves, or even worse, they cut them off. Such measures can lead to damage to the cortex and, as a result, to a decrease in the viability of the culture.

We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the features of apple growing technology.

It is also not recommended to forcefully pick leaves in the fall, before cold weather, since their presence on the tree is only a visual sign, and not the very reason for the reduced frost resistance. Experts advise making seedlings a reliable shelter that will protect them from the coming winter frosts.

The presence of foliage on older trees can only provoke a slight freezing. But young plants and annual seedlings can completely freeze or dry in the first weeks of spring. That is why they should be given maximum attention.

Another gross mistake of some gardeners is the treatment of trees with high concentration pesticides, which, in their opinion, should provoke leaf fall. But such measures are not permissible, since they can cause severe burns of leaves and bark, and lead to serious stress in the crop, which will negatively affect its winter hardiness. Chemical treatment can be carried out, however, in strictly specified dosages and if absolutely necessary.

You will be interested to know what to plant apple trees under a tree for beauty and maximum benefit.

The presence of foliage on the apple tree means that it cannot go into a state of rest in any way. And in such a situation, the main task for the gardener is the competent preparation of the tree for the upcoming wintering, increasing its winter hardiness and maintaining viability. Timely measures taken will protect the plant from the cold and get a rich harvest for the next season.

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