Winter care for orchard trees

Asked January 18, 2021, 2:08 PM EST

Hello. This is my first winter in Grants Pass and I have an orchard with 2 Bartlett pear trees, 1 each of Gravenstein, Liberty, Gala, and dwarf red delicious trees, a cherry tree, and a satsuma plum tree. All are mature trees. What should I be doing now in the way of pruning and anything else in order to prepare them for the growing season? Last summer’s yield was spectacular and the previous owner, due to health concerns, did nothing to the trees except keep them watered. I am attaching some photos. I think I should be cutting off those shoots that are growing straight up from branches but some of them appear to have buds. I really appreciate any help you can give me, and the more specific, the better. I don’t want to mess this up! We have a good thing going/growing here. Thank you!

Josephine County Oregon

1 Response

Annual pruning will help maintain tree vigor and control size. Yearly dormant-season pruning is ­essential for peach trees and helpful with apples, pears, and plums. Hazelnuts, sweet cherries, sour cherries, figs, and apricots benefit from pruning every 2 to 4 years. The upright sprouts should be pruned out.

Timely and thorough spraying is required to control the diseases and insects. Occasionally, other insects such as aphids, tent caterpillars, mites, slugs, fall webworm, and leafrollers become numerous enough to warrant spraying. It’s best to watch for such pests but not to spray unless excessive damage appears imminent. Insect predators will aid in keeping populations under control.

Here are some publications you will need for your library:

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec819/html

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec631.pdf

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw400/html

Hope this helps!