When and how to fertilize fruit trees for better growth? - 7 rules for a beneficial fruit tree fertilization

Fertilize fruit trees in Spring!

Fertilizing fruit trees in early Spring is essential to the quality of your fruit and overall tree care. By early or mid-April, most fruit in your backyard orchard has set, and your fertilizing will support fruit growth into early summer. To keep flowering and fruiting, yet minimizing vegetative growth, use a low nitrogen, high phosphorus, high potassium feed. Fertilizing fruit trees should only be done after the tree has established itself for a few months after planting. Then, sprinkle the fertilizer evenly under the tree’s canopy. 

You have to fertilize in the early Spring because if you fertilize too late in the season, you will encourage new growth. In addition, nitrogen and fall rains can trigger a new flush of vegetative growth that can leave the plants susceptible to winter injury. You can fertilize in late winter; just before bud break is the perfect time to fertilize. 

Rules to follow for a perfect fruit tree fertilization

Rule No.1;

Not every tree needs fertilizer every year nor in identical amounts. However, if you fertilize too much, you’ll get too many leaves and shoots and not enough fruit. Luckily the tree can tell you what it needs. 

Find out if your fruit tree could use a fertilizer boost. Start by locating last year’s growth rings. Measure from the growth ring out to the end of the branch. 

Measure several spots around the tree and average them together to get your number for average growth that the tree had last year. 

Rule No.2;

There are target growth rates for different species and whether the fruit tree is nonbearing, which means a young tree that did not set a crop last year or it is bearing. 

If you heavily prune your trees or your last year’s growth is longer than the target growth, don’t fertilize. 

If last year’s growth is in the middle of the target growth, you can either not fertilizer or fertilize with a lower application rate. Conversely, if the previous year’s growth is on the low end of the target growth or less, the target growth fertilizes at the entire application rates. 

Rule NO.3;

The amount of fertilizer to give your tree depends on the age and size of the tree. The maximum a tree need is one-tenth of a pound of actual nitrogen per year old or per inch of trunk diameter measured a foot above the ground. 

Don’t give your trees more than one pound of actual nitrogen in one year. 

Rule NO.4;

Use an organic high nitrogen fertilizer blood meal, soybean meal, chicken manure, cottonseed meal, and feather meal are other tremendous organic nitrogen sources.  You can also use a fertilizer specifically for fruit trees like this E.B. Stone citrus and fruit tree food. 

The NPK numbers on fertilizers show the percentage of nutrients per pound of fertilizer. N, P, and K refer to actual nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

The easiest way to do it is to sprinkle the fertilizer around the tree and then rake it in and water deeply. 

Rule No.5;

Don’t start fertilizing next to the trunk; start a foot from the crate and spread the fertilizer evenly out to the drip line. 

The drip line is the perimeter of the trees’ farthest-reaching branches. 

Another very effective but a little bit more complex way to add fertilizer to your fruit trees is to drill a series of small holes so that the fertilizer can get right to the roots. Dig the holes six inches down and twelve to eighteen inches apart from a foot outward from the trunk to the drip line. 

Rule No.6;

Sprinkle a little of the fertilizer you’ve measured out according to the recommended rates in each hole and then cover up with soil. 

There are many nutrients like phosphorus and mycorrhiza that don’t travel well through the soil.

Put on enough water and mulch to maintain the leaves’ health and viability on the trees and vines. 

Rule No.7;

After fertilizing, add a one-inch layer of compost so that you get all the micro-nutrients you need. 

Don’t fertilize in the fall because that can stimulate new growth that might get damaged by frost. 

It’s best to use a soil analysis or even leaf analysis to determine the specific fertilizer needs, but that’s a generality. 

Rule No.8;

In addition to nutrients, the trees need oxygen, and if you live in an area with compacted soil, you may want to try this tree and shrub aerator, which will deliver oxygen directly to the roots. Poke it into the ground about six inches down and turn on the water. Fertilize with care, and your trees will grow big and strong. Grow organic for life! 

Rapid Nutrient uptake - Fruit fertilization

About two to three weeks before the buds begin to swell in the Spring. Therefore, by the time the tree goes through a phase known as “rapid nutrient uptake” (occurs while new leaves are forming), the fertilizer will have transformed in the soil, and more nutrients will now be available for the tree. Therefore, the most critical time a tree needs sufficient nutrition, which determines how healthy your fruit will be, occurs during this period of new leaf growth. Thus, you want to make sure your tree has all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and robust so that you can grow healthy and strong.

Do this for five times better growth!

Growing fruits in the home garden are a delightful and fantastic way to get fresh fruit. Follow the steps to grow more fruits from the garden.

  1. Don’t Rash:

Pick blooms off if your trees that is not matured and healthy to bear the load. If you do this, you will get more fruits from your fruit trees.

  1. Pruning:

Pruning is a good idea to get more fruits to form your garden trees. It also helps reach enough sunlight and air to the garden and trees.

  1. Help Pollination.

Make sure a pollinator-friendly garden.

Don’t use powerful poisons in your garden. Instead, try to use organic pesticides on your garden plants.

  1. Fruits Thinning:

It’s also a good idea to make your fruits bigger and better. Some fruits like apples, plums, and peaches need to thin.

  1. Don’t allow to grow root suckers:

To ensure your garden trees get proper nutrients, don’t allow root suckers.

  1. Ensure perfect soil:

Fruit trees need to choose perfect soil according to the kinds of fruit trees. Also, ensure pH level and fertilizer to grow healthy plants.

Secrets of a healthy fruit tree

Secret number one

Fruit Tree Pruning 

fruit tree pruning starts when your tree is small. Pruning is a crucial part of fruit tree care, and correct fruit tree pruning is a beautiful skill to learn. But why is it important? Well, all of us have seen overgrown and poorly cared for fruit trees. They have poor air circulation, so they’re a breeding ground for pests and disease.

And the fruit can be of poor quality if your tree doesn’t have enough energy to do all the tasks it has to do. Like expanding its root system, powering branch growth, and promoting the development of large sweet fruit. So, our goal in pruning our fruit trees is to create a beautiful open structure for our trees that will support a great harvest and help promote the health and vigor of our trees. And all this starts when your tree is very young, and its branches are soft and flexible. 

Plant them carefully, and then perform your very first pruning cut by pruning off up to one-third of the tree. When your fruit tree starts to grow in the Spring, there’ll be more energy to power growth in the few remaining buds. What will happen next is that your tree will thrive in the following months. There’ll be lots of side shoots and lots of choices for pruning and structuring your tree in the next year. 

Caution; Pruning a simple fruit tree whip with very few side branches is that simple. But if you’ve bought an older tree with a few additions and an exciting shape, there may be some other strategies to learn. More about that later. And if you’ve purchased a potted tree, you might want to wait for a year until you prune your tree. Potted trees are older and take longer to adapt to their new environment. A harsh whip cut would stress them out, and that would not be a good thing.

Secret number two. 

Fruit trees need irrigation. Many people think fruit trees can fend for themselves, but they need irrigation, especially when they’re young and just establishing themselves. So, you’ll water your tree deeply and slowly on the very day you plant it. Then monitor your tree and water it again deeply when it dries out. How often you water depends on your climate and your soil. So, you may water twice a week or twice a month depending on rainfall and other factors. 

Fruit Tree Pruning 
Pruning a simple fruit tree

Swell Emergency Tree Removal Service – Alameda & Contra Costa County

Your premier tree service company in Alameda & Contra Costa, California. Here at Swell Emergency Tree Removal Service, we specialize in Emergency tree removal & Tree Fertilization together with various tree care services. 

We love trees and it is our mission to provide healthy trees to our clients. For a tree to stay healthy it needs inspecting and pruning periodically. We help to determine what type of trimming and pruning is necessary to maintain its health.

When it comes to finding a quality tree expert in the Bay Area, we are here to help. We take absolute pride in our work and are committed to your satisfaction. Want a free estimate? Give us a call us immediately to take care of your precious tree!

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