How to Care for Mature Fruit Trees


Newly planted fruit trees require a lot of care the first couple of years while they become completely established. The care and maintenance of fruit trees continues after the trees mature. Care needs to be taken all year-round to ensure the productivity and life span of the fruit tree. Do not let your fruit tree run wild after it has matured since it causes poor fruit quality and weakened branches.

Step 1

Feed your mature fruit trees each spring. Fertilization ensures new healthy growth and large fruit production. The main nutrient for fruit trees is nitrogen. Feed about 1/2 lb. of 10-15-10 fertilizer to each tree when the buds appear in the spring. Spread the fertilizer beneath the branches around the entire tree. Work the fertilizer into the top inch of the soil and water thoroughly.

Step 2

Thin the fruit sets to improve the size and quality of your fruit crop. This prevents the irregular bearing of fruit on the branches. Pinch off the overcrowded immature fruit from the branches.

Step 3

Irrigate your fruit tree by encircling the trunk with a drip hose. Put the hose just beyond the branches of the tree to encourage root growth. Water every 3 to 5 days for several hours at a time.

Step 4

Prune while your mature fruit tree is dormant during the winter. Pruning is usually done at some point in the first several months of the year. Each year, remove dead or diseased wood, broken limbs, root suckers and overgrown branches.

Step 5

Winterize your fruit tree before the ground freezes. Remove fallen leaves, fallen fruit and other tree debris. Mow tall stands of grass to eliminate nesting areas for rodents. Loosely wrap the fruit tree trunk with a wire mesh to prevent rodent feeding on the tree bark. Remove the wrap in spring since it can hinder trunk growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not prune more than a third of the branches per year. This can cause harm to the growth and fruit production of the mature fruit tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit trees
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Drip hose
  • Pruning tools
  • Rake
  • Lawn mower
  • Wire mesh wrap


  • "The University of Arizona: Fruit Tree Fertilization"
  • "The University of Arizona: Fruit Tree Thinning and Pollination"
  • "The University of Arizona: Fruit Tree Irrigation and Pruning"

Who Can Help

  • "University of Illinois Extension: Fall Care for Fruit Trees"
Keywords: fruit trees, fruit tree care, mature fruit tree care

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.