Caring for Fruit Trees

Overview

A fruit tree is literally the gift that keeps on giving. Or at least it is when given proper care. An old, diseased and dying fruit tree won't offer anything other than a headache. While apple, orange and pear trees require different growing conditions and methods of care, there are certain universals. Understanding how to give your fruit tree the attention it needs so it may thrive in your yard or garden will ensure that yours keeps on giving year after year after year.

Step 1

Provide proper fertilization to your fruit tree. Most fruit trees need only light fertilizing once a year, in early spring.

Step 2

Water your tree during dry periods and droughts. Remember that the roots likely spread out as far as the branches. Broadcast the water over this entire area, but focus especially on the area closest to the trunk.

Step 3

Watch out for disease, infection, fungus and insects. When one of these problems arises, research what you are seeing to determine the issue and the best course of action. Each type of tree and each kind of health issue requires different action.

Step 4

Prune out dead or dying growth. Also prune out branches that rub against another, as this can cause infections. Branches growing straight up and down should also be removed.

Step 5

Remove fallen fruit as quickly as possible. Trees surrounded by a bunch of fallen, rotting fruit will attract insects and other animals that may feed on the bark.

Step 6

Surround the base of the tree with a plastic protector if you notice deer or mice or other rodents have begun to eat the bark.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep fertilizers and other plant chemicals out of reach of children and pets. Call poison control in the event of ingestion.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticide and fungicide
  • Research material
  • Pruning shears
  • Bark protector

References

  • Sunset: Planting and caring for fruit trees
  • Home Tips: Caring for Fruit Trees
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Planting and Early Care of Fruit Trees
  • West Virginia University Extension: Planting & Care of Fruit Trees
Keywords: fruit tree care, protect fruit tree, water fruit tree, fertilize fruit tree, fruit tree disease

About this Author

Mark Rhyman has been working as a freelance writer since 2005. His work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, such as "Kotori" magazine and "Inside Lacrosse." He has his bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the State University of New York at Brockport.