Summer Fruit Tree Care Tips
Summer is here, which means your fruit trees are in the active growing season. Days are longer and the temperatures are warmer, so trees are photosynthesizing more, growing quicker and are hungrier. We reached out to fruit tree expert Joanna Glovinsky of Fruitstitute to find out what fruit tree owners should be doing right now to ensure a productive harvest this season. Read on to hear her tips, and you can learn even more from her on July 14th at our free Summer Pruning and Fruit Tree Care 101 workshop.
1) Feed your soil with compost & wood chip mulch
Apply compost in the root zone (the area under the canopy) of your fruit trees. Compost adds biology to the soil and makes more nutrients available for root absorption (like probiotics for digestion). Top the compost with wood chip mulch. Woody mulch reduces water evaporation, regulates soil temperature, promotes robust soil ecology, and assists in nutrient absorption (like bone broth for your gut).
2) Deep water
Deep watering is watering the root zone of the tree on a slow flow for a long period of time. Every backyard is different but most trees need at least 30 min of drip irrigation 2 – 3 times a week in summer. You should also provide supplemental irrigation on any day at or over 100 degrees.
Watering on a slow flow for a long period of time allows water to penetrate deeper into the soil, which is essential for deep rooters like trees. Deeper water penetration promotes root growth and with more roots, trees can access more water and soil nutrients. In turn, trees are better able to cool themselves down on hot days and overall tree health, as well as fruit flavor, is improved.
3) Thin fruit on stone fruit, persimmon, apple and pear trees
Thin fruit to 1 fruit every 4″ per branch. Stone fruit, persimmons, apples, and pears will often produce more fruit than the tree can bear, especially if the trees were not properly pruned in the winter. Too many fruits on a branch compete with each other for carbohydrates, which stunt the development and flavor of all the fruit if not thinned. Moreover, this carbohydrate drain can weaken the tree and stunt fruit development for years to follow.