If the trees were not cut back after harvesting the fruit, they can now be cut back in December. Above all the basic cutting work can ideally be undertaken in this time of rest. When thinning out the branches, horizontal, flat-growing branches are left to grow – these will bear the most fruit in the coming season. Branches which project sharply upwards or across must be removed. Carry out a so-called maintenance cut in order to create space for fresh branches. In addition, you should remove all old fruit still hanging on the branches. These can trigger infections and diseases.
When fruit trees are in their rest period, they are not affected by the cold. However, frost cracks may appear. In order to protect fruit trees against frost cracks, they can be painted with lime paint. Frost cracks mainly appear on cold and yet very sunny winter days. The sun’s rays warm the trunk of the tree at certain points, but the surrounding areas of the trunk can remain very cool. This temperature difference can lead to cracks in the trunk. White lime paint reflects the sun irradiation and prevents the trunk from heating up.