This is fruit tree season! Time to start enjoying those peaches, pears, figs, apricots and early season apples. And while your trees may look like they are in great shape, it’s always important to make sure they are prepared for the hot weather and potentially strong summer storms.
- Fruit trees need plenty of water. For maximum fruit production it’s important the tree does not get so dry the top leaves begin to wilt, turn brown and drop off. Lack of water is one of the main causes of stunted growth in fruit trees. During the summer when the temps aren’t extreme and there has been a normal amount of rainfall, it still may be necessary to supplement by adding approximately 5 gallons of water per tree each week. If the weather is hotter than usual and rainfall is infrequent, then you many need to water every 2 or 3 days.
A soaking hose or oscillating sprinkler will deliver a slow steady stream while allowing the water to absorb into the soil without fear of runoff. Also, it’s important to gauge the soil’s dryness by digging down at least 12” to check for dampness. As important as keeping fruit trees properly watered, it is also important not to overwater them or allow the ground to stay saturated for long periods of time.
- Fertilizing is important to fruit trees but only when a certain timetable is followed. Apply fertilizer in late winter or early spring to avoid new growth sprouting and being damaged by an early fall/late spring frost.
- While oak trees grow strow and majestic like elder statesmen, fruit trees tend to grow wild and free, much like toddlers, making pruning and training a necessity. Paramount for the tree’s overall health, early pruning can add to the tree’s fruit bearing production level, will help produce strong thick stems and the canopy will be more open, allowing free circulation of sunlight and fresh air which works to promote flowering and reduces the chances of certain bacterial diseases. Begin pruning when the trees are still saplings to train the branches as they continue to grow. Then once they are trained, they generally won’t need much more than a quick annual cleanup.
Arborists recommend pruning fruit trees when they are first planted and thereafter in late winter/early spring while the tree is still dormant and before it begins to bud out. A complete fruit tree pruning requires knowing where exactly to cut and is an undertaking often best left to your tree care professional as water sprouts are a consideration along with sprout suckers.
Now is the perfect time of the year to schedule your complementary tree inspection. Summer storms have already begun, and it won’t be long before we here in the South Carolina Upstate will once again have to contend with freezing rain and snow. Connect with Out on a Limb Tree Service today by calling Eric at 864-320-8787, or filling out our secure online form. And remember, Out on a Limb also provides 24/7/365 emergency storm damage cleanup.