apple trees, to fertlize or notgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
These apple trees range in age from two years to four. They are dwarf and semi dwarf types and have been composted each year but not fertlized. Should they be and if so what type would be best and what time of year?
-- jim phillips (email@example.com), March 05, 2001
I've seen several references to putting compost around fruit trees and have wonder about this too. Do you pile the compost up close to the tree or in a ring away from the trunk to deter rodents? When can you expect a good crop from drawf trees, and is this the time of year to prune? Thanks
-- Betsy K (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 05, 2001.
Everything I've read says to use compost. Make a ring around the tree as wide as the canopy, keeping the trunk clear (this helps prevent borers). Some growers use gravel against the trunk to keep the mulch away. Fertilizer has a much shorter term effect, and would put you on the treadmill. Inconsistent feeding can lead to tree stress and biennial cropping.
-- David C. (email@example.com), March 05, 2001.
I purchased 10 apple trees from a guy who does the grafting, raises apples as income and his family has been doing this for over 100 years-- He suggests that you ferilize w/ a 10-10-10 /March ;mid June and early September. Use 1/2 to a cup for young plants when the ground is moist or you are expecting rain, away from the trunk of the tree.
-- Debbie T in N.C. (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 05, 2001.
Pruning apple trees during dormancy or during summer foliage is acceptable. Choose to do it during dormancy when you wish to harvest scion wood for grafting new trees and when you wish to promote proper foliage growth during the immediately-following summer. Pruning during the summer will result in more fruiting spurs developing later that summer for the following year's production.
If I were doing it in summer, I would choose to put a compound like Nu-bark on the wounds to seal them from pests and fungus. Summer is also more risky for spreading diseases from tree to tree. Disinfecting your pruners is a good idea before/after each cut.
When preparing to prune a limb, make sure you understand the idea of a "branch collar". Do not cut through the branch collar when pruning. Any pruning flush cut would violate this rule. The branch collar is a natural defense mechanism to the fungus/pest/virus infestations which may attack a pruned tree.
-- Michael Olson (email@example.com), March 05, 2001.