ABG’s April 2016 Education Meeting will focus on Spring Fruit Tree Care, but you may want to do some preventive maintenance before that meeting. Co-presenter Jasmine Tokuda recommends that fruit tree owners take some time this weekend or early in the next week to remove overwintering mulch or leaf detritus under fruit trees. This winter’s decent rainfall has given our trees a good washing. Now it’s time to get rid of any nymphs or larvae that might be resting in that old mulch or leaf debris to discourage Whitefly infestations come the warmer months.
It’s best to dispose of the old mulch or debris in the green recycling container rather than your compost bin to discourage the Whitefly life cycle in your yard. Then replace with fresh mulch. Jasmine recommends spreading 3 to 4 inches of new mulch under the tree from dripline inwards to 6 to 12 inches from the tree’s trunk. Don’t put mulch all the way up to the tree trunk- that can cause other problems.
The island’s citrus and persimmon trees are especially vulnerable to Whitefly attack, but most fruit trees can suffer from attack in vulnerable years.
For more great information on spring fruit tree care in Alameda, join us on April 11 for the full spring tree fruit care presentation from Jasmine and Marla Koss.