With the growing popularity of homesteads, home landscapes now include trees and shrubs that can do double duty. Functionality has become as important as the beauty of our garden. With flowering as early as January in temperate climates, almond trees make their way into the landscape more often as dependable double plants, providing homeowners with early spring flowers, healthy nuts, fruit offering, and an attractive landscape plant. For advice on using almonds in the winter, continue reading.
Almond Winter Care
Closely related to peaches and other stone fruit trees in the Prunus species, almond trees are hardy in US Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. However, in cooler regions of their range, almond trees may suffer loss of flowering buds in early spring or frost damage. in late winter. In these locations, late blooming varieties of almonds are recommended to avoid frost damage. In warmer regions where almonds are grown, there may only be a short, semi-dormant period to provide winter care for almonds.
Pruning and shaping of almond trees is done in the winter, usually between December and January. Many almond growers prefer to grow their almond trees in a very distinctive, open vase shape. This shaping/cutting is done during the winter of the almonds, the beginning of the first growing season.
Three to four main branches, spreading upwards and outwards, are chosen to grow as the first scaffold branches, and all other branches are cut off. The following year, some branches will be picked from the first scaffold branches to grow into secondary scaffold branches. This type of selective pruning continues year after year, keeping the center of the tree always open to airflow and sunlight.
What do you do with almonds in the winter?
Annual maintenance should be done in the fall or late winter to prune away dead or damaged wood and remove garden debris and weeds. Leaves, acorns, and weeds left around the base of almond trees can deter insects and diseases, and also provide winter nests for small mammals that may chew on the tree’s trunk or roots.
Pathogens are often found in fallen almond leaves and twigs left on the ground during the winter, while borers and bugs find excellent winter refuges in fallen fruit and nuts. If left there during the winter, rapidly rising temperatures in the spring can lead to a sudden attack of pests or disease.
Almond trees are susceptible to many pests and diseases. Many of these problems can be avoided by incorporating a passive gardening spray into your almond winter care regiment. Preventive fungicide sprays can be applied from fall to early spring, depending on your area. Early spring applications are best in cooler climates where frost is expected.