How to Care for Fruit & Nut Trees


Grow fruit and nut trees in your yard for an endless supply of tasty treats. Most trees of these varieties have gorgeous flowering blooms, which make them attractive as landscape elements as well. Each fruit and nut tree grows at a different rate, reaching different heights. Some, like walnut and pecan, get very tall, which provides shade to other parts of your yard. It's essential to choose fruit and nut trees that grow well in your region and climate. Care for fruit and nut trees from the time you plant them to continue enjoying them for years to come.

Step 1

Choose planting locations that get at least six hours of sunshine. The site should also have well-draining soil and enough room for the fruit and nut trees to grow to their mature height.

Step 2

Pile dirt around each tree to create a basin. Create a circle just larger than the planting holes. This will make watering the fruit and nut trees easier. Fill the basin with water once or twice a week when it is hot outside. Water less frequently in cooler weather.

Step 3

Mulch around each tree to retain moisture and keep weeds away. Lay down 3 to 6 inches of mulch, starting 6 inches from the trunk to 3 feet in diameter. Put more down each year because it will disappear into the ground.

Step 4

Form and shape fruit and nut trees. Trim those that have trunks smaller than 3/8 inches in diameter. Choose the strongest branches to keep, as long as they are evenly spaced around the tree trunk. Each grouping is called a scaffold whorl.

Step 5

Prune back larger fruit and nut trees. Cut off 3 inches from the end of each large branch. This will promote growth and new buds. Remove any branches that cross or rub each other. Also cut off suckers at the base of the trees because the small shoots will steal nutrients from the rest of the tree.

Step 6

Mix white latex paint with an equal amount of water. Paint young fruit and nut trees from the ground up, all along the center trunk. Reapply the watered-down paint again the following season. It protects the tree bark from sunburn.

Step 7

Feed fruit and nut trees with fertilizer. Use one that is made for the specific type of tree during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer guidelines. Put the fertilizer under the canopy so that it soaks into the roots without touching the trunk. Water well to help the food penetrate the soil. Reapply each year.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not apply fertilizer to the hole when planting fruit and nut trees. This will harm the trees and burn the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch
  • White latex paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Fertilizer


  • Oregon State University Extension: Pruning and Training Your Home Orchard
  • University of Tennessee Extension: Landscaping with Fruits and Nuts
  • Texas Agricultural Extension Service: Fertilization of Fruit and Nuts Trees
Keywords: fruit nut trees, nut tree care, fruit tree care

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.