How Do You Fertilize Fruit Trees?


Quick Answer

Fruit trees often do not need much fertilizer. Many mature trees can get what they need from a well-fertilized lawn. Younger trees, or those not producing fruits can benefit from a boost of fertilizer. Citrus trees require different applications.

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How Do You Fertilize Fruit Trees?
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Full Answer

  1. Choose the right fertilizer

    A fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen is better for fruit trees. Try a 1-1-1 or 1-2-1 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous and potash. More nitrogen causes more rapid leaf growth and does not help with fruit production. Look for a fertilizer that contains half water insoluble, or slow release nitrogen and half water soluble for continuous fertilization.

  2. Fertilize at the right time

    Early spring is the best time to fertilize fruit trees. Trees can be fertilized into late spring or early summer, depending on the location. Fertilizing in the late summer can lead to late season growth that is much more susceptible to winter damage. The exception to this is in warmer areas. Some fruit trees can be fertilized in the early fall before the trees go dormant. Check with the local extension agency for details on planting zones and the cold hardiness of fruit trees for best results.

  3. Give citrus trees special attention

    Citrus fruit trees should be fertilized much more frequently. Young trees need many applications of a light fertilizer. Old, more mature trees should be fertilized three to five times a year. Choose a fertilizer that is specifically designed for citrus trees.

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