Your decision to buy fruit trees online came about as the result of the desire to have access to fresh fruit and to provide some additional shade in the back yard. With that in mind, it’s to your benefit to take care of those new fruit trees during the summer months. If you’re not sure what needs to be done, keep reading. The following tips will help ensure those trees have the best chances to thrive and eventually provide you with all the fruit that you desire.
Keeping the Trees Watered is a Must
While summer can mean enjoying rain now and then, don’t assume that it will be enough to keep the trees in top condition. Be prepared to water the trees at least a few times a week. While it’s fine to skip a day when it’s rained, don’t allow the trees to go more than three days without some sort of water.
This is a task you can manage using a watering can or by using the garden hose. The goal is to ensure the soil remains moist enough to promote the absorption of nutrients. That in turn helps to support healthy root growth and a steady supply of everything the tree needs to thrive.
So Is Ongoing Fertilizing
You prepared the soil before planting the fruit trees, which is great. Remember that even after that preparation, the trees will need additional fertilizing. The goal is to ensure that the soil remains rich in whatever nutrients the trees need to continue growing and eventually bear fruit.
If you’re not sure what sort of fertilizer to use, take a second look at the soil sample profile that you had done before ordering the trees. That will remind you of what needed to be added prior to the planting. You can also have another soil sample analyzed to see how well the nutrient content is maintained. That will help you have a better idea of what sort of fertilizer to buy.
When you’re not sure what fertilizer to use or how often to apply it, consider turning to the fruit tree nursery online where you purchased the trees. There may be articles found there that provide some guidelines. Alternatively, there may be a way to contact an expert who can provide some suggestions related to the kind of fertilizer to use and how often to use it.
Mulching Helps Reduce the Development of Weeds
Mulch is basically some type of organic material that rests on the top of the soil. The purpose is to help hold moisture in and protect the root system. In the event you fertilize the area, the mulch provides protection from the sun and other elements that could prevent the product from seeping into the soil.
While some forms of mulch will last the entire season, others will need to be replaced from time to time. When you inspect the trees, take a look at the current condition of the mulch. If it’s beginning to thin out, it never hurts to add another layer. This is especially important during the hottest part of the summer, since there’s a greater chance of the ground becoming too dry.
Pruning to Thin the Foliage is a Smart Move
There’s no doubt that you will need to prune the fruit trees at some point. How often depends on factors like the climate, the rate of growth, and the thickness of the foliage. Some trees will need to be pruned more often than others. Even if you’ve never done this type of thing before, it won’t take long to learn how to do it properly.
If you’re not sure how to prune fruit trees that are growing on your property, feel free to seek advice from the local nursery or from the source where you purchased the trees. If you want to prune apple trees - read our recent article "How and When to Prune an Apple Tree". Remember that your goal in pruning is to trim back areas of foliage that have become so thick that sunlight cannot easily get to other parts of the foliage. Sunlight is important to the health of the tree and general. It will also influence the quality of the fruit that the tree bears.
Inspect the Bark From Time to Time
Much of your focus up to this point has been on the roots, the foliage, and the fruit. It’s also important to take a look at the bark on your trees. Whether you buy peach trees online or some other type of fruit tree, remember there are issues that can adversely affect the bark and ultimately the entire tree. The purpose of your inspections is to spot these problems early on and resolve them before they can cause serious damage.
For example, some sort of blight could develop. If so, you want to have a professional tackle it at once. If it can’t be successfully treated, you want to have the tree removed before the problem can spread to the other trees.
The same holds true if there are insects found on the tree. Proper treatments may be all it takes to eliminate the pests and allow the tree to continue thriving. At other times, the damage may be severe enough to merit removing the tree and starting over.
You May Need to Thin the Fruit as Well
The foliage is not the only part of the tree that may need thinning a bit. With some types of trees, it’s often a good idea to think about some of the fruit. While this may seem counterproductive, it actually makes sense when you consider the results.
Say that you decided to buy pear trees online and they are producing quite a bit of blooms and ultimately fruit. In fact, the branches seem to be weighed down with it. That could lead to the branches breaking off. When this happens, you end up losing all the fruit that was developing but is not quite ready for consumption.
By thinning out the fruit, you reduce the stress on those branches and ensure the remaining fruit has the opportunity to mature. Instead of losing it all, you now get to enjoy fruit that ripens and can be used for everything from eating fresh from the tree to canning to blanching and storage for the winter months. The fact that you thinned the fruit also means more nutrients from the remainder, something that is likely to increase the quality of what is ultimately picked.
Remove Damaged Limbs and Branches Quickly
Even with the best of care, there may be other problems developing with your fruit trees. For example, they may sustain damage during a storm. The result could be that one or more limbs or branches are broken due to high winds or other issues.
If something like that happens, it’s usually not possible to save the limb or branch. At best, you may be able to take a cutting from the branch and root it to form a new tree. The only real solution is to remove and dispose of the damaged limb or branch.
Once the break is made, it will no longer be able to receive nutrients from the root system. The foliage will turn brown and the limb will begin to die. Since it does not help the tree in any way, there’s no value in leaving it in place. Get rid of it and there’s at least some chance that the tree will begin to grow a new limb on that portion of the trunk.
Call For Help If Anything Seems Unusual
As you become more proficient with growing fruit trees, many of your early fears about proper care will fade. In the meantime, never hesitate to seek help if something out of the ordinary should take place. That includes leaves that begin to turn yellow when they should be green, or a root system that seems to not be strong enough to support the tree.
Feel free to call on the source that supplied the trees in the first place. That could be the site where you buy apple trees online or it could be the nursery where you arranged the fruit tree delivery. While the issue may be brand new to you, the odds are that a seasoned professional will have come across the same thing in the past. That would mean obtaining some answers that help to correct the problem quickly. If it happens again, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Remember that fruit trees do need some attention. That’s true even during the summer months when things seem to be going well. Take the time to check your trees once or twice a week and tend to them in any way that seems to be needed.
The payoff is being able to step into the back yard, walk over to the trees, and pick as much fruit as you like. When you feel the urge to bake a pie or prepare some tarts using fruit that you picked, don’t be surprised if a smile comes to your lips. In like manner, making use of fruit that you froze during the summer months to add to pies or cakes, or enjoying a jar of jam or jelly made from your own private stock of fruit, will remind you that all the effort put in during the summer was worth it.
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