The Crux of Fruit Tree Care: Part IV-Fertilization

The Crux of Fruit Tree Care: Part IV-Fertilization

Effects of Enrichment

All trees and shrubs can benefit from fertilization at some point in their life cycle, however, given the amount of stress that fruit trees face during a growing season, they may benefit greatly from a proper feeding.  Fertilizer needs to be applied in the correct amount and the right formulation so as not to result in excessive green growth or poor fruit quality.  A simple soil test can illuminate any lack or abundance of micro and macro nutrients and inform on the amount and formulation of fertilizer or need for additional soil amendments. If your fruit trees are growing  near a lawn that is fertilized on a regular basis they will absorb those nutrients.  And if there is adequate new growth; 15 to 30 inches on non-fruit bearing species and 8 to 15 inches on fruit bearing trees depending on the variety, fertilizer may not be necessary. Other soil amendments, such as lime or mycorrhizae, may be beneficial based on results of soil test.

If there is less than 10 inches of new growth on lateral branches, fertilizer should be considered and applied in the spring prior to bud break, if the ground has thawed.  A slow release 10-10-10 (10% nitrogen, 10% potash, 10% phosphate) is a common spring fertilizer formulation, the usual application rate would be 1 gallon per inch of trunk diameter. However, several specialty formulations exist containing only one of the primary nutrients, or nitrogen in various forms. Additional amendments can be applied on their own or combined with the proper fertilizer formulation to achieve the desired results for your fruit trees.

Ameliorating Amendments

SavATree uses a specially formulated mixture of macro and micronutrients, with slow release action proven to boost trees’ stress resistance, help recovery from winter weather and promote healthy growth. Depending on your arborists evaluation of your landscape’s needs, kelp, lime or mycorrhizae can be added to fertilizer or applied on their own, to any plant, tree or bed where it would be beneficial.

  • Lime aids in adjusting the pH of the soil which can influence nutrient and mineral uptake and plant growth,
  • Kelp is a biostimulant made from seaweed which promotes root growth and increases stress tolerance,
  • Mycorrhizae are essential symbiotic fungal companions which increase root surface area and aid in nutrient and water uptake.

Every landscape is different, and even within a landscape plants’ needs, health issues and requirements may vary.  Have your arborist evaluate your landscape early in the season and develop a site specific plan to help your plants recover from winter stress and flourish throughout the growing season.