Wash away your tree troubles

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ONE chore that’s worthwhile fitting in before the end of this month is using a winter tree wash.

The most popular organic sprays are a blend of natural plant and fish oils but you can now get garlic-based ones.

They’re used to control over-wintering insect pests on fruit trees and bushes.

I tend to use Vitax’s Winter Tree Wash (about £9) – you’ll have to go to a garden centre for it, DIY stores tend not to stock it.

It controls the eggs, larvae and nymphs of aphids and other over-wintering nuisances on apples, pears, plums, cherries, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants.

Apply during calm, dry conditions from November to February (easier said than done – fingers crossed for this weekend).

Using a pump-action sprayer, thoroughly soak all bark surfaces, especially the crooks of branches.

If required, repeat just prior to bud break in early spring.