Maintenance of Fruit Trees

·  Page 2
This article will instruct you how to prevent and treat disease and fungus on fruit trees.
by Brooks Wilson · All Zones · Diseases and Fungus · 0 Comments · June 14, 2010 · 22,335 views

Maintenance of Fruit Trees & Plants

Once fruit trees are planted, they require regular maintenance. Fruit trees need to be properly trained and annually pruned so that sunlight can penetrate through the tree. Pruning should also be done to remove damaged and diseased wood and to stimulate new growth. Pruning out dead wood and removal of mummied fruit is the most important cultural practice that can be done to reduce disease losses.

Fertilization and lime application to maintain proper tree growth and soil pH are usually necessary yearly if you are growing a large orchard. The goal of fertilization is to produce adequate tree growth to support a quality fruit crop, not to produce excessive tree growth.

Although the extent of pest injury can vary from year to year depending on environmental conditions, certain fruit are more likely to have problems than are others. Stone fruits generally require more care than pome fruits. Tree fruits requiring the most care to those requiring the least are nectarine, peach, cherry, plum, apple, and pear.

Conditions favoring disease development vary depending on the particular disease or insect. Generally, warm, rainy or damp conditions are very conducive for the development of tree fruit diseases. For best control of diseases, fungicides and bactericides should be applied before rainfall. Also during the growing season, at certain stages of tree growth, fruit are more susceptible to particular diseases and damage is likely to be greater than during other times of the growing season.

All fruit should be picked before becoming over-ripe. Also, no fruit should be allowed to remain on the trees after ripening. All fruit should be picked and if not consumed, removed from the fruit-growing area. This helps reduce many disease and insect problems for later-ripening fruit and for the following year.

The fungicides selected for use in this guide were chosen because they are relatively safe to the user and the environment near the home, effective against a wide range of fruit diseases and are usually available at many garden centers. For individuals with only a few trees, the combination fruit sprays available at garden centers may be most convenient.

NOTE: Some fungicides for use on fruit trees contain copper which is an effective fungicide but most fruit trees are quite sensitive to copper which can cause leaf and fruit spots and defoliation. Remember, fungicides are designed to kill pests and as such they should be used, stored, and disposed of only as instructed on the container label. Always read and follow the directions on the container label before using a fingicide.


View All My Gardenaltiy Updates »