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Old November 1st, 2009, 10:16 AM
sensato sensato is offline
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Winter protection for apple

I planted two apple seedlings, a Liberty and a Russet, in my front yard late last spring. They've both taken very nicely, almost doubling in size. Heading now into an eastern Ontario winter, I'd like to protect them against two potential hazards, salty sidewalk snow piles and mice.

Salt: The trees are about 6 feet back from the sidewalk and a narrow, older street. Plowing is usually done first on the street, pushing onto the sidewalk, and eventually the sidewalk gets plowed, pushing that onto our yards. When I planted the seedlings, I put three stakes of narrow gauge rebar around each, and a bit of wire connecting them at 1' intervals upward, more to inhibit street vandalism (eg. snapping) than to support the trees. Should I wrap these stakes with burlap to keep salty snow about 3" away from the trunks? If so, should I stuff leaves or straw for extra protection?

Mice: Should I put a vinyl spiral "tree guard" around each of the trunks, to keep any nibblers away?

Thanks, in advance, for any guidance on this.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 10:56 AM
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soccerdad soccerdad is offline
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Re: Winter protection for apple

I can't comment on the idea of salt (do you eat your sidewalks out there?) but I can say that we have plently of mice but I have never heard of them doing any damages to apple trees. They never damaged any of my five.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 11:45 AM
sensato sensato is offline
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Re: Winter protection for apple

Don't want to stray to far off topic here, but a salt/sand mix is used to melt and provide traction on icy roads and, yes, sidewalks.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 12:02 PM
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soccerdad soccerdad is offline
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Re: Winter protection for apple

Ice. I remember ice. Outside, a drink, I mean. From my youth in Alberta, or Devil's Island, whatever it was. Haven't seen it since I escaped.

I'm sure that lots of people from the East or the Prairies will know the answer but I know that there was at least one court case - in Ontario, I think - in which a municipality was sued by a farmer for screwing up his land by road salt run-off, so clearly there is something to worry about.
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Old November 1st, 2009, 10:58 PM
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Daniel Mosquin Daniel Mosquin is offline
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Re: Winter protection for apple

Univ. of Sask.'s Gardenline seems to recommend putting on the vinyl guard to protect against mice: How can I Protect my Fruit Trees from the Prairie Winter?
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