Fruit Tree Care

Best choices for the Ottawa area

•       Apple

•       Pear

•      Cherry (sour and sweet)

•      Plum

•        Apricot

 

Apple, pear plum and most sweet cherry trees require two different cultivars in order to pollinate.  All sour cherry trees are self-pollinating.

 

Best Conditions

•        Well-drained soil

•       Rich soil

•        Full sun

 

How to plant

The best time to plant fruit trees is the spring to give them a chance to establish themselves before the winter season.

 

  1. Dig a hole the same height and twice the width of the pot.
  2. Prepare a soil mixture of 2 parts topsoil or black earth and 1 part peat moss and 1 part manure or other organic material.
  3. Place a couple of handfuls of soil mixture in the bottom of hole with about on half of a cup of bone meal.
  4. Remove plant from pot and set plant in hole.  Do not plant with the soil above the graft.
  5. Add soil mixture to fill hole, tamping down soil to remove air pockets.
  6. Leave a slight depression around plant and add liquid transplanter fertilizer.
  7. Water well.
  8. Because fruit trees tend to be top heavy, they should be staked for support.
  9. To keep the moisture in, the soil around the tree can be covered with mulch (bark, stone or cocoa mulch).
  10. Cover the bark with plastic tree protectors to protect against rodent damage on younger trees.

 

Pest control

Fruit trees are susceptible to insect and fungus damage benefit from a preventative spraying using dormant oil and lime sulphur which are sold together as a kit.  This should be applied before the leaf buds begin to break or open, but only while the temperature will be staying above freezing for two or three days, to allow for thorough drying.  This mixture is a strong spray and could burn tender young growth.  This treatment is particularly effective in killing overwintering insects and controlling fungus.

 

Insecticides should not be applied on fruit trees while they are flowering as this could kill the bees that are essential for pollination.

 

Fruit tree spray should be used to control insect damage during the summer.  Spraying should be discontinued just before harvest as indicated on the instructions.   As with any pesticide treatment, application should be done when it is cooler outside to avoid burning the tree.

 

Pruning

The best time for pruning is when the tree is dormant, before the buds begin to swell in early spring.

 

Most trees when purchased have the basic shape already begun.  You need to maintain and improve the open-centered vase shape that is desirable.  The basic principle of tree pruning is keeping an open vase-shaped tree to allow for sunlight and fruit growth.  Vertical branches are less desirable as they could not support fruit.

 

Select three or four well-spaced branches that radiate evenly from the trunk.  By the third winter, the basic scaffold of three or four main branches is established.  Retain the best-placed shoots near the tip of each branch and one or two side shoots.  Always cut to an outward-facing but to maintain an open center.  The more horizontal the branching, the more and the earlier fruiting will occur.

 

Winterizing

After all the leaves have fallen spray tree with dormant oil and lime sulphur to help prevent insects and diseases.

 

Place tree protectors around trunk or wrap trunk with burlap or tree wrap for protection against rodents,

 

 

 

Best choices for the Ottawa area

•       Apple

•       Pear

•      Cherry (sour and sweet)

       Plum

•     Apricot

 

Apple, pear plum and most sweet cherry trees require two different cultivars in order to pollinate.  All sour cherry trees are self-pollinating.

 

Best Conditions

•        Well-drained soil

•       Rich soil

•        Full sun

 

How to plant

The best time to plant fruit trees is the spring to give them a chance to establish themselves before the winter season.

  1. Dig a hole the same height and twice the width of the pot.
  2. Prepare a soil mixture of 2 parts topsoil or black earth and 1 part peat moss and 1 part manure or other organic material. 
  3. Place a couple of handfuls of soil mixture in the bottom of hole with about on half of a cup of bone meal. 
  4. Remove plant from pot and set plant in hole.  Do not plant with the soil above the graft.
  5. Add soil mixture to fill hole, tamping down soil to remove air pockets.
  6. Leave a slight depression around plant and add liquid transplanter fertilizer. 
  7. Water well.
  8. Because fruit trees tend to be top heavy, they should be staked for support.
  9. To keep the moisture in, the soil around the tree can be covered with mulch (bark, stone or cocoa mulch).
  10. Cover the bark with plastic tree protectors to protect against rodent damage on younger trees.

 

Pest control

Fruit trees are susceptible to insect and fungus damage benefit from a preventative spraying using dormant oil and lime sulphur which are sold together as a kit.  This should be applied before the leaf buds begin to break or open, but only while the temperature will be staying above freezing for two or three days, to allow for thorough drying.  This mixture is a strong spray and could burn tender young growth.  This treatment is particularly effective in killing overwintering insects and controlling fungus.

 

Insecticides should not be applied on fruit trees while they are flowering as this could kill the bees that are essential for pollination.

 

Fruit tree spray should be used to control insect damage during the summer.  Spraying should be discontinued just before harvest as indicated on the instructions.   As with any pesticide treatment, application should be done when it is cooler outside to avoid burning the tree.

 

Pruning

The best time for pruning is when the tree is dormant, before the buds begin to swell in early spring.

 

Most trees when purchased have the basic shape already begun.  You need to maintain and improve the open-centered vase shape that is desirable.  The basic principle of tree pruning is keeping an open vase-shaped tree to allow for sunlight and fruit growth.  Vertical branches are less desirable as they could not support fruit. 

 

Select three or four well-spaced branches that radiate evenly from the trunk.  By the third winter, the basic scaffold of three or four main branches is established.  Retain the best-placed shoots near the tip of each branch and one or two side shoots.  Always cut to an outward-facing but to maintain an open center.  The more horizontal the branching, the more and the earlier fruiting will occur.

 

Winterizing

After all the leaves have fallen spray tree with dormant oil and lime sulphur to help prevent insects and diseases.

 

Place tree protectors around trunk or wrap trunk with burlap or tree wrap for protection against rodents,

 

 

 

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on TumblrPrint this pageEmail this to someone