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Fruit care is important at this time of year. Then is when we can plant fruit trees. It's also when we want to spray dormant oil to deal with scale problems. You don't want to apply the oil within thirty hours of a freeze.
Established trees should be fertilized from now through March. Don't fertilize your new plantings just yet. Their roots are not ready for fertilizer; wait at least six weeks before you begin to feed them gradually.
The best way to fertilize is to use your thumb as a one-inch gauge. Then go up the trunk about waist high or at the top where it starts to branch. For every inch of trunk diameter at that point, apply a pound (2 cups) of fertilizer.
So if you had a fruit tree about the size of a soft drink can, that might be about three inches, so you'd apply about three pounds (6 cups) of fertilizer.
Apply the fertilizer throughout the branch spread and water it in well. If it's a young tree you can continue to fertilize on through the year; if it's an older tree , it usually doesn't need a lot of additional fertilizer.
It's also very important to mulch your fruit trees to the end of the branch spread. You don't want any weeds underneath to rob the tree of essential nutrients and water.
And, finally, it's time to make sure you finish the pruning chores. Call the
Extension Office in your area and get a free pruning guide on how to prune the particular type of fruit tree that you have.