With excited anticipation you select the perfect fruit tree for your yard, you plant and tend to that tree, you water and fertilize, and you look forward to a bountiful harvest. Unfortunately, so many of us struggle to realize, shall we say, ‘the fruits’ of our labors!
Our beautiful flowering fruits trees sometimes struggle to bring forth a productive harvest, leaving us frustrated and looking for some guidance. If you find yourself in this situation, then read only fellow fruit tree lovers as maybe some of the following tips will bring you much future fruity successes!
Go easy on the fertilizer
One mistake that home growers often make is over fertilization. We often fall into the idea that if some is good, more is probably better. However, with fruit trees, you need to be careful to not over stimulate trunk and branch growth. This sacrifices the energy the tree could be putting toward blossoms and eventual fruit. Keep in mind that any extra fertilizer that you may be applying to the grass around your fruit trees will also feed the tree itself.
Watch for pests
We love flowering fruit trees for their color and sweet harvest, but it serves us well to keep in mind that this also easily attracts a variety of insects and pests. Do your best to keep these pests away from your trees. Treat for any infestations quickly and keeping the yard well maintained and weed free as dead/pruned branches and weeds often attract a variety of pesky insects.
Space your trees out
When planting young fruit trees it is easy to plant them too close together. A mature fruit tree should be placed approximately 30 feet apart from any other tree! This spacing encourages sufficient air circulation and gives the tree plenty of direct sunlight, as fruit trees require at least 8 hours of direct sun.
Often the problem here is aggressive over pruning as we head into the winter months. While it is true that fruit trees should be pruned back each winter, different types of fruit trees require different types of pruning. In general, cuts that remove branches back to the point of origin will ultimately boost flower and fruit production. Oppositely, pruning that only removes a small portion of an existing branch will lead to branch growth over flower production.
Careful with the water
The general rule of thumb for healthy watering of fruit trees is to give them a thorough deep soak watering as infrequently as possible to keep the tree healthy. New fruit trees that are freshly planted can be watered once a week, whereas you can expect mature and established fruit trees to require a deep watering only once every 14 days!
Following these simple tips will lead you to a beautiful and bountiful fruit tree!