Fruit tree care is important year-round, but early spring is when the bulk of the work should be done. Superior care encourages the formation of flower buds, which encourages pollination and ultimately survival. These types of trees require a little more TLC than others, and newbie owners would do well to learn methods of proper care to help ensure their tree’s health. Pruning for fruit trees varies slightly based on tree type and region, but generally begins in late February and extends to early April. Make sure to begin pruning prior to the tree’s “leafing out” period.
If you completely missed the bud breaking, it might be best to wait until after summer. Summer pruning can do more harm than good. The one exception is water sprouts, which can be trimmed in the heat of summer (June or July). If you are considering dormant oil sprays, which are petroleum products combined with water for pest control, timing is also critical. Aim for early April before trees come out of dormancy, and apply only a thin layer to plug pores where mites and insects like to lurk.
To Fertilize or Not to Fertilize?
Many fruit tree owners do not see the need for fertilization, but it depends on the fertility of the soil. Assess the tree growth to make a fertilization decision. If a fruit tree does not bear fruit, it should be growing between 15 and 30 inches every year. If it does bear fruit, between 8 and 15 inches is ideal. Should fertilization be a good choice, choose a balanced fertilizer and take care of this task before bud breakage.
Figuring out exactly how much to fertilize can be a challenge. However, the basic equation is 1/10 pound of nitrogen for every year of the tree’s life. If you are not certain of the tree’s age, it is best to have an expert take care of fertilization. Plus, you can also discuss with a professional the pros and cons of organic versus nonorganic fertilizers.
The Perfect Plan
Everything from trimming to fertilizing is best done as close to bud breakage as possible, which calls for daily check-ins during this critical period. Fertilize too soon, such as in early March, and the results will not be as effective. In some parts of the world, including Utah, spring is arriving early, which means gardeners are hustling to get their fruit trees in order.
For best results, ensure tools are cleaned, sharpened if necessary and in good working order. The results of tree care are only as good as your skills and tools. Stay on top of tree care, and you may literally enjoy the fruits of your labor come summer. Reliable Tree Care provides pruning and insect treatment services for fruit trees in and around the Murray, Utah, area. Trust them to provide superior care for your fruit trees, and to give you tips and advice on how best to take care of them.