Care for Newly-Planted Trees
• Late planted trees should be painted with a white or light.colored interior latex paint (dilute with 25% water) to help prevent sunburning. Do not use oil-based paints because they can potentially burn the bark of the trees. Milk cartons or tree protectors can be put on the trees to help protect from rodents and any harsh herbicides used for weed control.
• It is important to keep competition with weeds to a minimum. Weed control can be accomplished chemically and/or mechanically. If done chemically, it is important to use herbicides that will not injure the trees. If weeding is done by hoe or some other mechanical means, be careful not to injure, or wound, the bark of the tree. Wounds can be an entry point for diseases such as crown gall.
• Replants should be pruned immediately after planting. On peaches, nectarines and almonds, it is important to leave approximately two inches of growth on any limbs in the top foot. This will insure there are buds in the areas you want to develop the scaffolds. Walnuts should be pruned back to no more than four buds of approximately 8″–12″. Summer pruning can be beneficial in directing growth.
• Once newly-planted trees have at least I 0″–12″ of new growth, small amounts of fertilizer can be applied. Up to 4 ounces of a material like sulfate of ammonia or “tree & vine” fertilizer (15-15-15) may be used. It is best to give newly.planted trees frequent, but light, applications of fertilizer.
• Irrigation needs to be managed so that young trees receive adequate moisture, yet are not overwhelmed when the orchard is irrigated for the older trees. The first year is the most important in any young planting. Give your orchard the best care you know how. If you have any questions about planting and caring for your trees, please call your field representative.