Organic Fruit Trees

Fertilizing Young Non-bearing Trees

Article written by Don Albrecht and published in Chippewa Valley Hidden Treasures Spring 2017 (page 47)

Set your fruit trees up for success by establishing a strong framework of tree branches while they are young, and learn how to tell whether or not your trees need fertilizing.

This article will not tell you everything there is to know about your fruit trees, but it is a good starting place. Specifics of your planting site and which fruit is being grown also need to be considered.

“BUD BREAK” is an important time for the tree – the buds started to swell in spring will certainly tell you your tree is waking up from winter dormancy. It’s also telling you what to do, if you’re open to what the tree needs. If you want fruit within a few years without damaging or taxing the tree too much, young and non-bearing trees will likely benefit from being fertilized.

NOW HERE IS WHERE YOUR TREE IS TALKING – look at last year’s growth. Find last year’s growth ring on a branch (and area where it looks like smaller piece of new wood is emerging from a slightly larger area, with a collar in between) and measure from that point all the way to the tip. Do this is several areas, and get your average measurement. If less than 15 inches you should apply an organic fertilizer, following the instructions on the package. It’s understood that not everyone has or will do a soil test. If you miss this opportune window, you can still do this through June.