How to Care for New Fruit Trees

Overview

Fruit trees make an attractive addition to any yard or garden. Aside from enjoying a continual supply of delicious fruit, the trees provide many other benefits. Fruit trees frequently bear fragrant, eye-catching blossoms. They can provide shade for your home or patio, filter the air you breathe and attract colorful birds and other wildlife. If you decide to take advantage of all that a fruit tree has to offer, learn how to care for a new tree properly.

Step 1

Provide adequate irrigation. Watering a new tree sufficiently will help to ensure it grows a deep, strong root system. Dig a ring-shaped trough in the earth around the tree that is slightly larger than the original planting hole. Irrigate the tree with two to five gallons of water per week unless more than an inch of rain feel within the last 7 days.

Step 2

Cut new fruit trees to force low branches. While a tall, sprawling tree may be lovely to look at and provide abundant shade, it may be difficult for you to care for a very large tree. Crop a new fruit tree to a height of 24 to 36 inches. Remove all lateral branches of trees with a trunk diameter of 3/8 inch or smaller and some of the branches of a larger new fruit tree. This will cause the main trunk to grow upward and sprout branches.

Step 3

Protect new fruit trees from sun damage. Sunburn or sun scald can damage the bark of new trees and leave them vulnerable to boring insects, which can cause further harm. Wrap the trunk of the tree in a commercial tree guard, or combine one part white latex paint with one part water and apply this whitewash to the lower half of the trunk.

Step 4

Fertilize new fruit trees. Use a soil test kit, available at home improvement stores, garden shops or your state's Cooperative Extension office, to determine the type of fertilizer your tree will require. Apply the fertilizer about 2 weeks after the tree is planted.

Step 5

Guard new fruit trees against pests and weeds. Applying a layer of mulch around new trees will help prevent weeds, which can steal water and nutrients from a new tree. Check your tree frequently for signs of pests. Take action immediately if you notice chewed leaves or bark.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Pruning shears or small handsaw
  • Tree guard
  • White latex paint
  • Pail
  • Paintbrush
  • Soil test kit
  • Fertilizer

References

  • http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubs/PDF/C877.pdf
  • Planting & Care of Fruit Trees
Keywords: planting fruit trees, fruit tree care, care of trees

About this Author

Tielle Webb has been a writer and editor for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in local and national publications such as "The Dollar Stretcher," "Good News Tucson" and "Guideposts." Specializing in computer technology, Webb is certified in Microsoft Office applications.