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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.