Care for Your Fruit Trees

Planting

  • Select the area for your fruit tree. You want to make sure that it is not too wet of an area.  Pick an area that you can water regularly in drier seasons.
  • Once your area has been chosen, dig your hole twice as wide as your root ball and approximately 3” deeper than the root ball.
  • Blend together 1/3 of your existing soil, 1/3 topsoil and 1/3 compost.
  • Put enough loose soil in the bottom of the hole, so the root ball is elevated slightly above the existing grade. Backfill firmly and water in.
  • As the blended soils settle, the top of the root ball should remain just slightly elevated.
  • Staking your fruit tree is a good idea, especially if you have planted in a known windy area.

Watering

  • Fruit trees like consistency! Do not allow them to dry out, but also do not saturate them.
  • Keep them moist. Water twice weekly.  Water may be needed more in the heat of summer.
  • Under-watering can cause curled leaves and defoliation, and over-watering can cause yellowed leaves and defoliation.

 

Fertilizing

  • Fruit-bearing, aged trees tend to consumer of nitrogen, so it is important to replace. Use a fertilizer high in nitrogen, we recommend Espoma Tree-Tone.

Pruning

  • Start with the 3 D’s: prune away any DEAD, DAMAGED or DISEASED wood.
  • Best time to prune is the winter. You can see what needs pruned more clearly and it is less stressful to the tree.
  • Remove all sucker growth from the trunk and remove perfectly straight vertical branches.
  • Prune back to a larger limb. Do not leave stubs.  The goal of pruning is to allow light and air into the canopy, which boosts fruit and reduces problems.

Spraying

Dormant oil – early spring before leaf buds begin to open.  Do not apply when temps will be below 40 degrees, so check the weather.  This takes care of scale and insects.

Fungicide Sprays – Spray early spring to eliminate scab disease, which is common with Peaches.  Apply this before leaves have opened.
Insecticidal sprays – When flower petals fall, this will take care of most fruit tree pests.  One exception is the codling moth, you should spray for this 2 weeks after petal drop and one more time in the middle of summer to take care of 2nd generation moths.

No matter what spray you use, take care not to use them when blooms are just opening.  This will avoid damage to bees that are so important!

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By | 2017-04-28T10:26:34+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Categories: Boyert's Tips, Gardening Tips, Trees & Shrubs|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments