Fruit Tree Nutrition


Fruit trees are an added bonus to the garden. They provide beauty and shade and are an excellent food source. Although most trees are fairly easy to care for, all trees need proper nourishment to grow strong and produce a healthy crop.


The nutritional need of a fruit tree is normally assessed through soil and foliar (leaf) analyses. A soil evaluation can establish which nutrients are present in the soil, while a foliar test determines what nutrients were absorbed by the tree.


The chemical status of the soil is important for the nourishment of the tree. Ideally, a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5 is optimal for orchard trees.


Fruit trees need a variety of nutrients to establish good leaf growth. Nitrogen, especially, is essential to the production of chlorophyll. Healthy leaves are important to the life of the tree, as well as to all human and animal life.


Symptoms of nutritional problems in fruit trees include stunted growth, discolored leaves, bark measles and premature fruit development.

Time Frame

A good nutrition program will optimize tree performance and help prevent the over or under application of nutrients. Ground fertilizers are usually applied in the early spring or late fall. Information for a nutrition program is generally collected during the late spring/summer growing season.


Over-fertilizing does not increase yields. It can be harmful to the tree and may lead to groundwater contamination.


  • Soil pH
  • Beginning an Orchard Nutrition Program
  • Plant Nutrition

Who Can Help

  • Plants for a Future
Keywords: fruit tree nutrition, nitrogen and leaf growth, when to fertilize fruit trees

About this Author

Loraine Degraff has been a writer and educator since 1999. She recently began focusing on topics pertaining to health and environmental issues. She is published in "Healthy Life Place" and "Humdinger" and also writes for Suite101. Degraff holds a Master's degree in Communications Design from Pratt Institute.