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Fruit Trees

Fruit trees can add appeal to any garden all year round. They bloom with blossom in spring, stay green through the summer and, of course, bear fruit in the autumn that you can proudly say you have grown yourself. As with any type of tree, they will live longer, look better, and produce a greater yield of fruit if they receive the proper care. There are many varieties of fruit trees, and even homes with smaller gardens can enjoy the benefits by selecting a dwarf or semi-dwarf stock, which will still boast a significant harvest. While fruit trees can require more maintenance than other types of tree, the bonus of delicious and healthy home-grown produce makes them worth the effort. Planting Fruit trees should ideally be planted in autumn. Many types prefer soil that contains high levels of potassium, which is important in the growth of buds and fruit. Others also need significant amounts of nitrogen. The spot they are planted in should be carefully chosen as fruit trees need at least six hours of direct sun during spring and summer. At the time of planting a layer of mulch should be added. This will help to provide the tree with nutrients, protect the roots from temperature fluctuations, and hold moisture in the soil. Feeding Fruit trees should be fertilized in the early spring, preferably a month before spring growth begins. Gauging the amount of fertilizer can be tricky, as too much can lead to an overgrowth of leaves and shoots but not much fruit. In addition, although all fruit trees require nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, the ratios needed varies by species, while the consistency and composition of the soil will also affect what additional nutrients are needed. The fertilizer should be applied across the trees rooting area, which will extend a little further than the canopy. If the tree is situated in grass, its best to remove turf to a diameter of roughly a yard from around the trunk, before lightly turning over the soil and applying the fertilizer. Pruning Effective pruning of fruit trees can increase fruit yield, increase their longevity, and prevent them developing structural problems, such as the trunk forking, which can lead to weaker branches in later years. It should be performed while the tree is in its dormant phase, ideally in late winter or early spring. The amount and type of pruning depends on the age of the tree. Very young trees are pruned heavily to encourage structural growth. In later years, pruning will be less vigorous and is designed to increase yield. While there is much information available both online and in books about how to care for fruit trees, the best way to guarantee the health and longevity of your tree is to consult a tree care expert. They have the knowledge and understanding of the needs of the different species and will help ensure that you continue to enjoy your tree and its fruit for many years.

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