Early Winter in the Tree and Shrub Garden
The weather at this season generally continues to be reasonable for working in. Although the temperature will have gone down, the really cold weather, wet and snow should not start until early mid-winter. Then there will be very little that can be done outdoors, so that such jobs as planting, pruning and spraying should be finished during the next few weeks.
Planting can continue through early winter; tree fruit pruning can be started and, it is to be hoped, completed. Vine pruning should certainly be finished, as the sap in this fruit starts to rise much earlier than in the others. Wisteria can be winter-pruned, also some other ornamental climbers and one or two shrubs.
Once the pruning is finished, tree fruits can be given a winter wash against pests and diseases, if the spray programme you follow includes it. Protection will be required to prevent damage from cold, wind, birds and rodents, and weather damage should be looked for and remedied.
There will also still be a mixture of small jobs to do, such as leaf clearing,and trimming if not finished in summer. A rather bigger one is that of basic digging, to get the soil into good condition for planting next spring. Thorough preparation of this kind really does result in better and stronger plants and is particularly useful if they are to be grown in sticky, heavy soils containing a lot of clay.