Having seen the help you gave to the fig tree question and the moving of the Sour Cherry tree in autumn, I am hoping you can provide me with some very specific guidance.
We live in the north-east, right by the ocean (I mean we can see it...not boasting trying to let you know about wind issues!), in an area that has a moderate, maritime micro-climate. This spring I planted two different varieties of cherry and pear. which are grown in this area. All four trees are doing well so far and I want to keep it that way.
We live in the country, so I have deer fencing loosely draped around the little trees which (pretty much) kept that charming pest away from the delicous buds/bark. The trees are 6-7 feet high and are cross-braced with hosing and wires to keep them straight.
Now that we have had three nights of frost, I have, as most locals suggest, wrapped the trunks in the white plastic "tape" that keeps off rabbits, squirrels, mice etc and also provides protection from our biggest threat, South-West wind splits (from freezing and then very warm sun on tender bark).
So, now that I have done the final weeding of the season, am I supposed to be mulching? before ground-freezing? and, if not now, when? and with what? (I have shredded leaves, pine bark mulch, balsam 'needles', seaweed to choose from).
Thanks in advance!