How to Care for Fruit Trees

How to Care for Fruit Trees
How to Care for Fruit Trees

Many Americans have fallen in love with growing a fruit tree in their gardens, especially to compliment any nut trees they may have on the property. Not only does it give the grower immediate access to the fruit of their choice, but it also gives them control over how the fruit is grown. While specific types of fruit trees often have their own requirements for care, the following tips are great for any fruit tree in your garden.

Plenty of Water

Typically, fruit trees should be watered once every two weeks. The roots of most fruit trees reach 3 to 4 feet into the ground, so they’ll need plenty of water to ensure enough of it reaches their roots.

Fertilization

A fruit tree should be fertilized once each year, ideally in the spring. This should take place before the tree is due to produce new growth. The amount of 10-10-10 fertilizer that should be used depends on the age and size of the tree.

If fertilizing a tree in its first year of life, a tenth of a pound of fertilizer should suffice for most trees. An additional tenth of a pound should be added for each additional year of life the tree has enjoyed. The fertilizer should be spread in a band around the tree about 24 inches from the trunk. The tree should be watered once the fertilizer is in place to assure that it reaches the roots of the tree.

Pruning

It can sometimes be a tricky process to properly prune your tree. Pruning shears should be used to cut the top of a newly planted fruit tree to about 3 feet high. When the tree's first summer arrives, identify four branches on the tree with good spacing between them. Use the shears to remove all other sprouts and branches. 

The tree should be trimmed each winter thereafter. All new growth should be trimmed from the dormant tree. The amount of trimming that is needed will vary from one species of fruit tree to another.

Pest Control

Preventative care can be effective at keeping a fruit tree free of pests and diseases. Weeds should be removed regularly because they can harbor dangerous disease and pests. Weeds also steal water and nutrients from the soil. 

Diseased or pest-ridden fruit trees should be treated as soon as possible. Solutions that include 50 percent copper will take care of most diseases. This spray can be purchased at many garden stores. For pests, insecticidal soap can be purchased to rid the tree of them.

Conclusion

Fruit trees are a great addition to any backyard garden. The tips discussed above will help you understand how to best care for the fruit tree in your garden and help keep it healthy for a long time to come.

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