Fruit trees can benefit almost every yard or landscape. Providing an array of color, beauty and shade, a fruitful tree can also deliver an endless selection of fruit to enjoy. To ensure that your tree maintains a healthy core and vibrant lifespan, provide your tree with the care and attention it needs to make you a happy tree owner.
Always plant your fruit tree in full sunlight. Most fruit trees require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day during their growing season. This applies to fruit trees and ornamental trees, as well. If you are planting more than one fruit tree in the same location, plant the trees at least 20 feet apart. This will ensure that they do not overcrowd one another, stealing sunlight and nutrients.
Prune your fruit tree regularly to promote new growth, maintain structure, and control tree height. Remove any broken or diseased wood and branches from the tree. If the tree is developing fruit, remove any fruit that appears to be rotted or diseased. Shape younger trees with pruning to establish its shape as a mature tree. Most trees establish their shape in the first three years.
Choose your tree size wisely. If you are just planting your tree, select a fruit tree with a mature height that you can manage.
Water your tree regularly, especially during the growing season. To yield fruit that is edible and tasty, your tree requires an ample amount of water on a regular basis. Develop a watering schedule that both meets the tree's requirements and the climate's demands. Adjust the schedule around weather changes, including rain and snow.
Fertilize your fruit tree by scattering fertilizer around the tree's drip line. The fertilizer should be at least one foot from the trunk and incorporated into the soil. Fertilize just before the blooming occurs and shortly begin the winter begins (early spring and later fall).
Keep plants, grass, and other vegetation at least three feet from the trunk of the tree. This will eliminate competition over the tree's water and nutrients. Apply a layer of mulch around the trunk of the tree that is at least 3 inches thick, and that rests at least 3 inches away from the trunk's base. This will control surrounding weed growth and conserve the tree's moisture.
Thrashing vs. Shaking
Avoid shaking the tree during harvest when the tree is still very young. Shaking the tree can disturb its root system and cause damage. Thrashing the fruit tree's branches is much safer for the tree.