How to Save Fruit Trees

Overview

Fruit trees are a great addition to your yard because they provide fresh fruit for your family to enjoy. However, they can be afflicted with diseases, pests, frost damage and low fruit yield. When any of these occur, it is essential to take action and save the trees. Luckily, there are solutions as long as you catch the problems as soon as they occur and not let them get out of control. Once you treat the fruit trees, you can enjoy years of yummy fruit crops.

Step 1

Cut off dead branches and limbs to save fruit trees. This wood is taking nutrients from the rest of the tree. Prune the unwanted wood where it meets healthy branches. Do not leave stubs or you will increase the likelihood of more disease and pest problems.

Step 2

Water the tree if the soil is dry. Dry soil will lead to wilting leaves and less fruit production. Dig with a shovel 4 to 6 inches deep near the tree trunk. If the soil is not moist, add water. Long, deep waterings with a hose are better than short, quick sessions.

Step 3

Remove infected wood, leaves and fruit to lessen the spread of disease. Pear scab, for instance, will cause distorted fruit and scab spores to develop. Fire blight causes new shoots on apple and pear trees to die. Cut off the infected wood 12 inches below the affected area.

Step 4

Keep the trees from getting sunburned or infested with pests. Mix water with white latex paint to dilute it so it's at half strength. Use a paint brush to paint the trunk from 2 inches below the ground surface to the top of the tree.

Step 5

Get trees to grow new fruit. Early in the season, pinch off soft tissue just above buds. This will cause the growth of new buds.

Step 6

Cover fruit trees with blankets and clear plastic when freezing temperatures are forecasted. They will keep the warmth in and protect fragile blooms. Remove both when the temperatures go up because the trees can overheat.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw
  • Water
  • Garden hose
  • White latex paint
  • Paint brush
  • Blanket
  • Clear plastic tarps
  • Bleach

References

  • Planting Fruit Trees: Caring for Fruit Trees
  • University of California: Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees
  • Basic Info 4 Organic Fertilizers: Fruit Tree Diseases
  • Daily News: Protect Trees From Burns When It Freezes
Keywords: save fruit trees, fruit tree care, fruit tree problems

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.