How to look after fruit trees in the month of December. Read our tips on the work to be performed on fruit trees in a garden or orchard in order to keep them in good health. Apple and pear trees can be pruned, but the task can be performed at any time up until March. New trees can be planted. Read on to discover all our fruit growing tips for December.

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Fruit tree management in December

  1. Check apple trees for canker on the stem and branches. Cut out all surrounding wood and the wound itself, until no brown markings can be seen in the healthy green surrounding bark and cambium layer. Then paint the treated area with a wood sealing compound such as Arbrex or “Heal and Seal.”
  2. Prune apples and pears. Improve light entry. Watch a video tutorial on pruning.
  3. Do not prune plums, greengages and cherries in winter. Read more about pruning plum trees, and how to prune cherry trees.
  4. Apply farmyard manure around the trees.

How to control pests and diseases on fruit trees in December

  1. Woolly aphids. Effective insecticides are no longer available to the gardener or the allotment holder. Using luke-warm water and some detergent, brushing the affected branches will reduce the problem. Repeat the same treatment a month later.
    woolly aphids

Garden orchard welfare

  1. Check that rabbit guards are in place.
  2. Check fruit held in store; remove rots.
  3. Plant replacement trees. Winter is the ideal time for that.
  4. Check for grown-in or restricting ties around tree trunks.
  5. Replace broken stakes.
  6. Remove stinging nettles and perennial weeds.

Read our fruit tree care tips for successive months:

Go back to the fruit tree care calendar