Fruit Trees Tips

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Orchard Weed Control

Keeping weeds down in your orchard may be an issue, however there are many ways to easily solve this problem. Some people choose to plant their fruit and nut trees in raised beds. This allows you to control the soil, the moisture in the soil and the nutrients much easier than growing in the ground.

When creating raised beds, be sure to use some type of weed blocking material underneath. Stacks of newspaper, cardboard or weed cloth will help keep the weeds down. To keep weeds from establishing themselves in the new soil it is important to keep them pulled out. Weed seed can live in soil for up to seven years. Some gardeners put the same weed blocking material on top of their raised beds as they put underneath of it. While this may not be attractive, the weed blocking material can be covered with mulch.

Another method of weed control that some gardeners like better is to plant under the trees. Strawberries are an excellent choice for planting around fruit trees or in young orchards. If you are looking for something a little less labor intensive, try chives or mint.

Both of these plants are beneficial to fruit trees. Mint will spread and can be invasive. Chives will reseed. Neither plant will choke out your fruit trees. However, until these plants are established you will need to remove the weeds around them.

For natural weed control, try poultry. Not only will they eat the grass around your fruit trees helping to keep it low, but they will eat insects and their eggs. If fruit falls on the ground, this will get devoured too.

Low growing plants such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries will need to be fenced off or you will not have any fruit left. Be aware that some poultry can fly. They may fly into your trees to eat the fruit. Early spring before the trees fruit and late fall after you have harvested the fruit may be the best time to use poultry for weed control.

How do I prune apple trees?

Pruning Apple Trees

Apple trees need to be pruned properly to help them continue to produce fruit year after year. To prune apple trees, you should: 1. Do your pruning during early spring, before your apple trees break dormancy. 2. Remove branches that grow towards the tree's center. 3. Remove any branches that are growing out from the trunk at a narrow angle. They will be weak when they mature.

How do I fertilize fruit trees?

Fertilizing Fruit Trees

Fruit trees use up quite a few nutrients to create fruit each year. To help your trees produce a bumper crop year after year, you will need to fertilize them. Most fruit trees should receive a dose of slow release granular fertilizer each fall. It is important not to over-fertilize fruit trees. Over-fertilized trees produce a lot of new growth and very little fruit.

How do I prune cherry trees?

Pruning Cherry Trees

Cherry trees need to be pruned to keep them strong and healthy. To prune cherry trees, you should: 1. Always do any major pruning before the trees break dormancy. 2. Remove broken, dead, or diseased branches immediately during the winter, spring, or summer months, but try to avoid pruning in the fall. 3. Shape the tree into a vase shape to make it easy for you to pick fruit and to make the tree more productive.

How do I select the right fruit tree size?

Selecting Fruit Tree Size

Fruit trees come in several sizes. This range in sizes makes it easy for people to fit fruit trees into small spaces or to fill an entire orchard. Standard fruit trees need 25 or more feet of space for each tree. These trees live for many years and produce large quantities of fruit. Semi-dwarf trees can fit into 15 feet of space. They live almost as long as standard trees and produce plenty of fruit. Dwarf trees only require eight feet of space. However, they are not long lived and do not produce large quantities of fruit.

How do I plant sweet cherry trees?

Planting Sweet Cherry Trees

Sweet cherries are fairly expensive compared to many other types of fruit, so it makes sense to plant cherry trees. To plant these fruit trees, you should: 1. Choose a sunny location with well drained soil. 2. If the soil is highly acidic, add some lime to make it more alkaline. 3. Plant at least two trees approximately 25 feet apart. Single trees are unable to produce fruit, since they need to be cross-pollinated.

How do I care for pear trees?

Caring for Pear Trees

Pear trees are easy to grow, but do not have the longevity of some other types of fruit trees. To help your pear trees live as long as possible, you should: 1. Be sure the trees are planted in damp soil. They do not do well in dry conditions. 2. Test the soil to be sure it is slightly acidic. If the soil is alkaline, add some sulfur to increase acidity. 3. Prune diseased or damaged branches immediately to prevent decay.

How do I care for nectarine trees?

Caring for Nectarine Trees

Nectarine trees are not as popular as most other fruit trees, but they are easy to grow and care for. To keep these fruit trees healthy, you should: 1. Keep your trees watered during dry weather to be sure the fruit continues to form properly. 2. Look for signs of the peach tree borer on the trees' trunks. Nectarines are actually a type of peach and are susceptible to this insect. 3. Keep the soil around your nectarine trees mulched to conserve moisture.

How do I prune my fruit trees?

Pruning Fruit Trees

Fruit trees should be pruned regularly to help maintain their health. To prune fruit trees, you should: 1. Remove any diseased or dead branches. 2. If you are pruning to shape the tree, you should do your pruning while the tree is dormant. This means that new spring growth has not yet appeared. 3. Always remove suckers immediately, since they are usually from the root stock and not the tree that is grafted onto the stock.

How do I care for plum trees?

Caring for Plum Trees

Plum trees are easy to grow and can add color and interest to the landscape. To care for these fruit trees, you should: 1. Add lime to extremely acidic soil to make it less acidic. 2. Be sure that the location where these trees are planted does not have pockets of heavy frost, since plum trees bloom early. 3. Provide support for branches that are carrying a lot of fruit, since the plum tends to have weak branches that break easily.

How do I plant apple trees?

Planting Apple Trees

There's nothing quite like biting into an apple that you've grown in your own backyard. Planting apple trees is a fun family project. To plant one of these fruit trees, you should: 1. Choose a location that receives full sun and has well drained soil. 2. Dig a planting hole that is about a foot wider than the root ball of your apple tree so that it is easy for the tree's roots to spread into the surrounding soil. 3. Plant your tree so that the graft union, which is a bumpy spot near the base of the trunk, is a few inches above the soil's surface. 4. Water the tree to remove air pockets in the soil.

How do I care for apricot trees?

Caring for Apricot Trees

Apricot trees need a warm climate, so they can't be grown in all areas. However, if you live in a frost free area, you can grow and care for these fruit trees by: 1. Testing the soil to be sure it is not too acidic. Add lime to acidic soil to make it more alkaline. 2. Applying a slow release granular fertilizer or bone meal in early fall. 3. Watering the trees during dry weather to prevent them from wilting.

How do I protect my fruit trees from pests?

Protecting Fruit Trees from Pests

Fruit trees are fairly succeptible to pests. It is important to protect these trees from insect and animal pests. To protect your fruit trees, you should: 1. Wrap the trunks of young fruit trees to keep animal pests from chewing on them. 2. Check your trees for signs of infestation or damage daily. 3. If you see signs of insect infestation, spray your trees with the proper pesticides.

How should I plant fruit trees?

Planting Fruit Trees

While there are some differences in the way they are planted, most varieties of fruit trees have similar planting needs. To plant fruit trees, you should: 1. Choose a location with plenty of sun. 2. Look for well drained soil. 3. Plant each tree so that the graft union is a few inches above the soil's surface.

How do I care for peach trees?

Caring for Peach Trees

Good peaches are juicy and sweet. To help your peach trees produce the right kind of fruit, you should: 1. Be sure you keep your peach trees watered during dry weather so the fruit isn't stunted or shriveled. 2. If too many peaches are forming, remove a few from each branch so the remaining fruit can grow larger and stronger. 3. Look for wet spots on the tree's bark. They show that the tree may be suffering from an attack by the peach tree borer.

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