Garden Tips Newsletter
Fertilizing Fruit Trees
Garden Tips Newsletter - February 11, 2002
February is the time to fertilize your fruit trees. There are different rates depending on the age and type of the fruit tree.
For apple and pear trees:
1 pound complete fertilizer + 1/4 pound of ammonium nitrate
2 pounds complete fertilizer + 1/2 pound of ammonium nitrate
3 pounds complete fertilizer + 3/4 pound of ammonium nitrate
4 pounds complete fertilizer + 1 pound of ammonium nitrate
5 pounds complete fertilizer + 1 1/2 pounds of ammonium nitrate
After apple and pear trees reach bearing age (over 4 to 5 years of age), apply only a complete fertilizer (such as 13-13-13). Usually 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer -- per inch of diameter of the tree measured just above the soil line -- are adequate.
For peaches, nectarines and plums:
Apply one pound of a complete fertilizer (e.g. 13-13-13) 6 to 8 inches from the base of the tree.
Apply 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer (13-13-13) 12 to 15 inches from the base.
Apply 4 pounds of a complete fertilizer (13-13-13) 2 to 4 feet from the base of the tree. Apply half of the fertilizer in late February and the remaining half in late April.
For mature or bearing trees, fertilize at the rate of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of a complete fertilizer per year of age until trees are 8 to 10 years old. Then apply 8 to 10 pounds per tree annually.
Lelia Scott Kelly, Ph.D., writes Garden Tips weekly and is a Horticulture Specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Her office is in the North Mississippi Research & Extension Center, Verona.