How to Take Care of Fruit Trees When They're in Bloom

Overview

Fruit trees are desirable to home gardeners not only for their luscious fruit, but for their beautiful springtime blooms as well. Growing fruit trees is a rewarding endeavor and a year-round task. Each season comes with specific care requirements, including spring, when most fruit trees are in full bloom. Although the culture can vary slightly depending on the type of fruit tree (citrus trees should be protected from late freezes in the spring, while apple trees can survive them unscathed), in general, the steps needed to care for blooming fruit trees remain the same regardless of the species.

Step 1

Clean up any dead leaves or shriveled fruit from last year that may still remain under the tree. These can harbor fungi, which can cause the tree to become diseased, according to information published by the University of Nebraska.

Step 2

Fertilize your fruit tree. Spring is the time to fertilize the tree to stimulate foliage and flower production. Use a fertilizer formulated for your particular type of fruit (most are nitrogen-based), and water after fertilizing.

Step 3

Train the branches. Fruit trees need to develop strong, horizontal branches in order to support the sometimes heavy fruit, according to information published by North Carolina State University. Once the tree is blooming and before the fruit starts to develop, widen the angles of the branches with clothespins (young trees) or by tying weights to the branches.

Step 4

Prune off branches growing vertically, any branches rubbing against other branches and those that compete with the leader (trunk) or the main supporting horizontal branches. Fruit trees should have lots of space between branches, almost like a ladder. Pruning can be done during blooming or even before the blooms develop.

Step 5

Spray bee attractant on the tree if you want the tree to be pollinated. Avoid spraying insecticides if possible while the tree is in bloom, as this can interfere with pollination.

Step 6

Watch for signs of blight (a fungal disease that turns the flowers brown) or insect infestation on the blooms. If the flowers are injured or infected, the fruit is unlikely to develop properly, if at all. Spray the tree with a fungicide or an organic insecticide (try to find one that has the least noticeable odor so that it won't interfere with the scent of the blossoms).

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Fruit tree fertilizer
  • Pruning tools
  • Weights or clothespins (optional)
  • Bee attractant (optional)
  • Low-odor insecticide
  • Fungicide

References

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Early Spring Care for Fruit Trees
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Training & Pruning Fruit Trees
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extention: Planting and Early Care of Fruit Trees
Keywords: spring fruit care, growing fruit trees, blooming tree care, spring fruit trees

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.