Q&As/Pruning and Tree Care/Pruning and Plant Feeding

Question

What is the best time to prune roses, fruit trees and shrubs that bloom? Also when should I apply fertiliser to my apple tree?

Answer

Winter is the best time to prune your roses as they are dormant. Wait until flowers finish and leaves have fallen which is around late June in Christchurch, then start your pruning anywhere from mid-June through to end of July/early August. You will need to apply two winter sprays to protect your roses from any overwintering diseases or pests - spray them with a clean up spray such as Copper Oxychloride. It’s also worth doing a general clean up around your rose beds to clear away any weeds or leaf debris as they can harbour diseases that could infect the plant come spring. For healthy roses apply Daltons Premium Rose Fertiliser twice per season, once in early spring, then again after the first blooms open.   
If you are unsure when to prune your blooming shrubs, a general rule is to prune immediately after the plant has finished flowering. To protect against disease, spay with a Lime Sulphur or a Copper spray.  
With all pip and stone fruit the same rule applies – once the leaves have fallen and the plant is dormant begin pruning from late June through to the end of July. Fruit trees are susceptible to a range of fungal diseases which again can be treated by spraying Copper Oxychloride during winter to get rid of overwintering diseases or pests. If your tree has any major problems such as scale insects or mealy bug, treat them with a Lime Sulphur spray. Feed your fruit trees with Daltons Citrus & Fruit Fert out to the tree ‘drip line’ (located directly under the outer circumference of the tree) every 4-6 weeks from February to mid-April, recommencing again in October through to Christmas. For fertilising an apple tree, follow the same feeding schedule as per stone fruit trees.

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