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While all our trees are truly winter hardy and won't die from the freezing cold weather, winds and snows, there are a few risks of damage overwinter. If you don't want to read the entire thing or want the one quick easy most important thing, It's put on a white tree guard! Pests: This is probably the biggest overwinter concern and leads the most of the tree death and injuries. The biggest concerns are mice and voles, followed by rabbits then larger animals like deer and moose. They are also all very easy to prevent by using any sort of...

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Location Location Location: The first thing to consider even before getting your shovel is location.Consider the light, soil and moisture conditions of your location. How prone it is to animals and pests. Competition from other trees, grasses, weeds, etc. The physical space, structures and final size of the tree/roots. The aesthetic and view it will create is also an important consideration.  Light: Most fruit trees prefer lots of direct sunlight so try to pick a place that is not shaded. If you only have shaded locations be sure it's at least getting lots of morning or evening sun. Anything planted...

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Usually right around the time your pruning it's also a perfect time to do dormant oil spraying. Ideally do your pruning first, you'll use less spray, your tree will be more open and you can spray all those new cuts you made to keep anything out of them.  Choose a nice warm sunny day. This will allow the spray to dry and coat the tree better. Avoid spraying if it's going to rain in the next day or two as it will just wash off, and avoid high winds as it will be harder to control.  Why? The reason to...

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I'll start by saying that most of the discussion here will apply to all fruit trees, but there are some minor variables I will try to address. It won't all apply to shrub fruits/berries and vines. I am also going to try to keep the advice simple and straight forward. It can be a very daunting topic that seams to overwhelm everyone.  Timing The perfect time to prune is while the trees are still dormant, so ideally late winter or early spring. It's good to try to get it done before the buds break, and sap starts really flowing as...

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Why Plant Hardy Trees, Shrubs, & Vines?: While there are now many more outlets for hardy fruit trees than in past years, some of them are selling what I call ‘high zone’ trees and shrubs, that are entirely unsuited to northern zones, climate change expectations notwithstanding. In fact, between these outlets andonline ordering, it is pretty much possible to obtain live specimens of just about any plant one wishes to grow or experiment. My favourite example of a high zone plant that most of us should not want to try in a northern garden is the Bing cherry. It is still sold in significant numbers in parts of Greater Sudbury and elsewhere, but is...

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