How to support tree branches heavy with fruit
Many fruit trees are ripening during the month of August. Well, that is great but if you see that branches are getting too heavy or bend down too much, you should help your trees a little bit by providing a proper branch support. This will prevent breaking. Hot weather is often accompanied by strong winds and storms which can further exacerbate the problem, so make sure that you provide the right supporting in time.
Why use stakes and other supports?
Well, the obvious reason is to prevent branches from breaking and provide the much-needed relief. Branches that swing violently, can damage fruit and large part of your harvest may fall down and come to nought. Proper supports will help you to save your harvest and maintain your trees healthy . You can collect fruits fallen to the ground to salvage at least a little bit but there are few uses left for such fruit and you cannot store it or preserve it.
What supports should you use?
Many gardeners use regular straight poles with a fork at the end, or bars with modified upper part, so they support branches safely. The lower end of the stake or bar needs to be secured in the ground. Many people sharpen the ends of the bars as sharp ends make pushing them into the ground easier. Stakes can be made of different types of wood such as oak, birch, aspen, alder etc. If you use wooden branches for support, make sure to remove the bark. Supports should also be smooth.
When should you use supports?
You should use support in time, usually when fruits are the size of a walnut and you see that there are plenty of them. If you do not make it “in time” you can always add stakes later. Better later than not at all.
Pear trees in particular need support, as they are fragile and break easily. When you are installing support stakes make sure you will not hit or break fruits or small twigs. There are several types of supports that you can use depending on the shape of the tree and the variety you have, or the weight of the fruits.
Preview photo: Pixabay
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