A tale of earth worms and orchard growers

A tale of earth worms and orchard growers

Winter begins when the last leaves are falling from the trees. The last of the remaining nutrients have receded into the woody part of the tree where they are stored. The leaves have turned yellow and their connections to the tree have been severed. The flow of water and nutrients from roots to treetop gradually comes to a standstill, while the year-old shoots are lignified and will easily survive the winter frost. We fruit growers are no longer pressed for time and for once we can work indoors when it gets cold or wet outside. Now is the time to get the orchards ready for winter. Sometimes the grass still needs mowing, which also shreds the fallen leaves. This makes it easier for earthworms to pull them under ground to be consumed and decomposed. This greatly improves the starting point for trees in the spring, as the fungal spores that grow on the leaves have been consumed and so cannot harm the trees.

Then some of the rabbit fences around the tree trunks have to be repaired or replaced. Hares especially enjoy gnawing off the bark of younger trees if other sources of food are hard to find. It is important to keep checking that the drainage system is fully functional, since the winter period is often accompanied by high levels of precipitation. The water must be drained away safely so that damage to tree roots is avoided.

An earth worm portrait: www.nabu.de/tiere-und-pflanzen/sonstige-arten/02265.html

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