The mild temperatures and sunshine generous predicted by Meteo Consult for these last days of February are particularly conducive to the size of fruit trees to glitch like apple or pear. The operation has multiple virtues, in particular, to improve the quality and quantity of your harvest. As explained by Dominique Cousin in The size of a simple fruit, a small book amazing published last fall in Ulmer: “the best fruits are produced on branches of young and vigorous properly fed by the roots”. All the art of the gardener is, therefore, by sound blows of the knife, to guide the sap into the fruiting shoots, called spurs or coursonnes, which, with the arrival of spring, will flower in the coming weeks.

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Several situations arise. In the case of trees of full wind, characterized by a trunk more or less high (low shank or tumbler, half-stem, high stem) surmounted by a crown composed of 5 to 6 limbs, the size doesn’t present any particular difficulties. It is, in the first place, to eliminate the dead branches or diseased and then to cut the branches oriented towards the interior of the shaft to facilitate the circulation of air and light. By doing this it avoids the need to create conditions conducive to the spread of pathogenic fungi (scab, moniliose) against which the use of chemical products has been banned since the 1st January last. It will also remove the suckers, branches of the year which grow in an uncontrolled manner and pump the sap unnecessarily, as well as branches in double or those that cross each other (kept one out of two).

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The case is complicated a bit with the shapes, fenced, in other words, apple and pear driven in a lane (cord horizontal, palmette verrier, palmette oblique, flag Merchant, etc) that have the advantage of taking up less space in the small gardens and to grow along a wall or a fence. In this season, it is advisable, in a first step, fold the carpenter of 25 to 30 cm in order to avoid that the vegetation grows at the top of the tree at the expense of the base.

The size of the side shoots, or coursonnes, is then to promote fruiting, while maintaining the floral organs as close as possible scaffolds in order, again, to shorten up the ride of the sap. Denis Retournard, the former head of the orchard of the garden of the Luxembourg in Paris, advises to cut all the branches not bearing located at the top of the buds to flower: “the sap is always going to the bud located the highest, it might be compelled to go to the future fruit, and therefore to improve their caliber and their quality of taste”. The size also helps to prepare the future crop, provoking the formation of branches flower-bearing, which will produce the following year.

To work in good conditions, please bring with you secateurs, sharp, and previously disinfected with alcohol to prevent the spread of certain diseases. In this regard, take advantage of a break (at least 12 hours without rain) to do your second treatment-based fungicide bordeaux mixture to fight preventively against the scab or the moniliose.

Your appointment “garden” to do (mostly) not to be missed

• Until 28 February: exhibition “winter Gardens”, the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire (Loir-et-Cher).

• 28 February-3 march: Exhibitions “Pool & garden” and “My house, my desires”, Parc Chanot, Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône).

• 1 to 29 march: Sessions “to Create and organize my garden” proposed in France by the association Jardinot.

• 2 to 4 march: 560e frequently asked trees and plants, Lisieux (Calvados).

• Until 11 march: 7th exhibition “a Thousand and one orchids’, a large greenhouse of the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.

• march 12: conference Day on the biocontrol organized by the SNHF “methods for gardening au natural”, Pa Toulouse, Castanet-Tolosan (Haute-Garonne).

• 14 march: Symposium “Boxwood, issues, renewal and renaissance gardens”, the conference centre, Orléans (Loiret).

• march 17: Day of hellébores, trilliums and shrubs, winter Gardens, Berville, La Genevraye (Seine-et-Marne).

• 20 march: “Seed to plant: what are the stakes for our future?” MOOCS organised by the Groupement national interprofessionnel des semences (Gnis) and Agrocampus-ouest. Registration is open (click here).

• 23 march to 8 September: Exhibition “the Gardens, the joys of Val d’oise”, the House of Doctor Gachet, Auvers-sur-Oise (Val d’oise).

• 23 and 24 march: 17th-celebration of plants organized by the Rotary Club Blois Sologne, in the park of the château de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher)

• 29, 30 and 31 march: international Competition of floral art, “Elegance floral”, salle Claude Nougaro, Revel (Haute-Garonne).

• 30-31 march: Week-end “Seeds of solidarity” in Truffaut, at the initiative of the Foundation Georges Truffaut.


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