How to look after fruit trees in the month of June. 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. Early June is a period in which fruit trees are in full activity. Newly-planted trees need special care and regular watering, and even established trees may need help with water and mulch. According to type and variety, some fruit trees are still in flower, others are at the fruitlet stage. Apples will have to be thinned. New shoots are growing with lots of new green leaves are forming. These are very important for the trees’ wellbeing. Parasites can be particularly problematic, particularly those that damage foliage. The leaves are excellent indicators as to how the trees are coping with various pests and diseases. Pheromone traps should be place in apple and plum trees.
Fruit tree management in June
- If apple trees show a very heavy set of young fruitlets, fruitlet thinning will have to be carried out in June, after the natural drop has finished. Two fruits per cluster well spaced out is a good measure to take. Space the clusters from 4 to 6 inches apart. The reason for this is because for each fruit to be able mature properly, it will need the help of 20 fully grown leaves. If fruitset looks good then wait until early July before thinning the fruit. This is to ensure that the natural thinning has finished before you start thinning yourself. Thinning is important, because if the trees are having to mature too many fruits, then blossom next season will be sparse and very weak. Watch a video tutorial on how to thin apples.
- Your young fruit trees are now at top activity; new roots and shoots are being formed and young fruitlets are appearing. Therefore additional water, one full watering can a week, will help the tree very much. Any tree planted in a pot or a container, whose roots are therefore restricted, will need extra moisture in particular.
- If the growth of the trees is stunted, weekly foliar feeding can be a real help for the trees to get over the problem.
- A couple of pruning tips: if the trees are growing too strongly, it is advisable to remove the growing tips of the strongest shoots. Do not prune any espalier, fan or cordon trees until later in the season.
- For all types of fruit, organic matter and a good soil structure is vital for good growing. This is the perfect time of the year to get your plot well dug, drainage improved and plenty of organic matter added to the soil.
- Start the summer pruning programmes of plums, cherries and greengages. The same applies to nectarines, peaches and apricots. Read more about summer pruning plum trees.
- Apply fruit nets where bird trouble might occur, cherries in particular.
How to control pests and diseases on fruit trees in June
- Aphids and various caterpillars are becoming more active. If young leaves are beginning to curl up and leaves are being punctured with holes or leaves being eaten, it is a good idea to visit your garden centre. These places usually stock a wide choice of ways of dealing with such problems.
- On your fruit trees, if you see shoots showing damage caused by mildew, these need to be cut out.
- Shoots which are being damaged by canker need to be cut out using secateurs and removed from the site. The wounds need to be sealed to prevent new infection. “Heal and Seal” or similar products are the correct compounds to use.
- Leaves which have been damaged by the fungus called Peach Leaf Curl, need to be cut off and disposed of in the non-recycling bin.
- Now is the optimum time to place your pheromone traps. Check your pheromone traps for codling and plum moths. Renew the lure if necessary. Watch a video about pheromone traps.
- Start spraying the apple varieties which have a tendency towards bitterpit in the fruits.
- Remove scabby fruits at the same time.
- Hang rolled up corrugated cardboard in the trees to attract the caterpillars which would otherwise damage foliage and fruits. Regularly inspect and renew when caterpillars are caught.
Soft fruit and garden orchard welfare in June
- If you are growing some strawberries, now is the time to place the straw underneath the trusses of fruit. This will stop the mud splashing on the fruit. Also make sure the blackbirds don’t eat the fruit before you do. Netting is essential.
- Make a start on preparing the ground where new trees will be planted in the autumn.