In my typical random fashion, another big project I tackled today was to prune and clean up the neglected little nectarine tree. This tree might be on its last legs — it is covered with gummosis. Even so, every spring, it presents a spectacular flower show, but then becomes loaded with fruits that never get chance to ripen due to Brown Rot.
- In my defense, I bought this when I was just learning about fruit trees in general, and I wouldn’t get this particular variety/cultivar now that I know better. I was researching Brown Rot resistant cultivars recently, and may end up buying a new tree, but I can’t plant it here, so I might as well try to give this tree the best care possible, especially since it’s in the front yard and could be considered an ornamental.
- I started by pruning it though this might not be the best time (yeah having said what I said just now). I removed a good 1/3 of the tree so I stopped even though I still see some more extraneous wood that need to be cut.
- Afterwards, as hopefully preventive against infection, I thoroughly sprayed the entire remaining tree with a solution of baking soda, liquid soap, borax, Epsom salts, hydrogen peroxide and 90% rubbing alcohol.
- I collected all of the mummified fruits and burned them as part of my on-going bio-char/ash-as-fertilizer experiment. (I know this isn’t bio-char — I realized I have to take baby steps and practice with open fire first.)
- Having gained a little more confidence from today’s tiny bon-fire in the chicken waterer tray, I’m going to drag the copper fire pit out to this spot and try to burn all of the diseased wood later. I piled them away from any stone fruit in an out of the way spot for now.... though if keeping those make me too nervous, I will bundle them up for municipal pick up.
- As you might be able to see, only thing that didn’t burn in my little bonfire was a little knob of “green” nectarine wood. So those branches will have to season for a while first. Do they burn even when green if you put them in those drum cans of hot fire?
...I made my little fire in the future STARDOME site (a.k.a. Sunflower & House) which stood untended all season — It’s currently green and lush (wet) with expendable weeds and in an open space with no overhead trees, and it doesn’t matter if the weeds get scorched a little or affected from the possible ash+water=lye. The entire circle needs to be eventually leveled out and the fence removed, so it will be helpful to start puttering around in here.