Fruit trees are deciduous blooming trees. Most fruit trees are non-fastidious, requiring minimal attention during their years of fruit production. It's easy to care for fruit bearing trees but care must be provided regularly and diligently.
Prepare your fruit tree in early spring. Most fruit trees require the dormant winter periods to prepare for their avid growing season. Help your tree prepare by pruning away dead or dying branches, stems and leaves. Weak branches should also be removed; they will have a hard time bearing the weight of developing fruit. Trim the central leader to ensure the tree will have upright growth and strong structure.
Fertilize the tree during the early spring months through mid summer. The fertilizer applications will promote vigorous growth, longer blooms, larger fruit and an overall healthier tree. The fertilizer should contain a combination of micronutrients, phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. The nitrogen levels should relatively higher than the other ingredients. A good combination is 30-10-10. Apply the fertilizer around the base of the tree. Fertilize every two to four weeks and stop during the second week of July.
Ensure that your tree has a good combination of water and direct sunlight to produce the nutrients it needs to bloom properly and develop its fruit. Fruit trees that are well watered produce sweeter, tastier fruit. Water your tree at least once a week during the spring. Increase the watering schedule during the summer months. Drier periods of summer will require watering two to three times each week. Fruit trees require 30 to 50 gallons of water each week, depending on the tree selection. Fruit trees also require at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day.
Inspect your fruit tree regularly for insects and disease. Insects are common predators of fruit trees. Avoid insect infestations by spraying your fruit tree with an insecticide during the spring. The insecticide should meet the needs of the infestation and the tree. If the tree has become fully infested, an additional application or multiple applications may be required. Speak with your local nursery or horticultural specialist for diagnosis assistance. Fungal diseases are very common in fruit trees. Check your tree regularly for symptoms. Inspect the tree’s leaves, fruit, branches, stems, and trunk for signs of fungal disease. Symptoms such as curled leaves, chalky white leaves, scabs, cankers, saps, and decay should be addressed immediately. While most fungal diseases are curable, if not preventable, many can cause permanent damage if left untreated. Your specialist will also be able to assist you with selecting the appropriate product to counteract the disease.