Taking care of Fruit trees
Attached are the picutes of Lemon and Avocado fruit trees.
I am planning to put drippers (2 gallons/hr) for them. Any recommendations like - water quanity required, fertilizer or etc ? Frequency ? I am totally newbie on this concept. so please guide me.
Also, can you take some close up pictures at the base of the trees, the ground and bottom 6" or so of the tree.
What zone / state are you in?
I would not use much fertilizer on them in most area and in most situations.
On both of the trees, dig away some dirt with your hands, you want to make sure they are planted at the proper depth. It is more difficult to see the flare on very young trees, but you should still be able to tell where it is and make sure it isn't buried.
Here is a page that has some photos and talks about planting depth:
Next, you want to remove any low lying branches, anything that is going to cause fruit to touch the ground, and most fruit trees are pruned much higher as they grow larger. For now, I would just remove the lowest ones.
Remove dying / damaged leaves.
I am not sure why you need the rope, but you need to watch that it doesn't girdle the tree. See the photo below for the correct way to tie up a tree that needs support.
The lime likes to have lots of water, but can't tolerate standing water. If your soil drains well, then you can likely water it just about as much as you want. If your soil tends to retains more water, then you may only need to water it a couple times a week. I would start by giving it a deep watering a couple times a week, and just watch it, if it wilts or shows and signs of stress, then water more frequently. As it grows and gets a more established root system, it will need less frequent waterings, but fruit trees still like a fair amount of water.
The avocado will likely needs a bit less water than the lime, again, don't over water. If the trees start to look stressed and you have been watering a lot, then they are likely too wet. If you haven't been watering a lot and the top couple inches of soil are getting dry and the trees are looking stressed, then they need water. Over watered and under watered trees look very similar.
Fertilizer. If you do anything now, get a bottle of Plant Starter / Root Stimulator. There is a Miracle Grow brand version of it that is a liquid you mix up.
I've had really good results with the Ferti-lome brand name of root stimulator. I use it whenever I am doing a transplant that might be a bit difficult for any number of reasons.
Here you can see what it looks like on a ebay auction:
I would look for it locally, the shipping is kind of a rip. It's going to be at more like small hardware stores and nursery shops, not so much at walmart / home depot, at least not around here. I just searched the dealer locator on the fertilome web site and it doesn't show any dealers in your area. If you want the fertilome, then I think you will need to order it.
As much as I like the fertilome product, I think you would be fine with using some Miracle Grow Quick Start, you can get it at Walmart, Home Depot, etc. Here is what it looks like:
You can use either one of these products at least a couple times. I've used both, and almost never lose anything I transplant, even when I transplant at very poor times.
In the spring, you can apply a heavier dose of regular fertilizer, you should be able to find a dry fertilizer that is made for fruit trees. Or if you want organic you can use some blood and bone meal and add that into the top of the soil.
I hope this helps.
p.s. we grow a lemon inside, we are in zone 4/5 so we are limited on what fruit we can grow outside. Luckily we can still grow cherries, lots of apples, pears, and a few others. I planted a cherry tree in my yard last year and it is doing great.
I suggest picking up a couple bags of a shredded bark mulch, around $3 a bag.
I am not sure which tree this one is:
It looks like there is some sand packed against this tree that is a little high. It needs more dirt, but, just don't go too deep, just enough to cover the roots up.
Thank you very much for all the information. It's great. It takes me some more time to undertstand this since I am completely new to this.
However, one question. How do I recognize that the plant is stressed either due to less or over watering.
Most of the leaves on the trees look pretty good in the photos, so you can use that as somewhat of a baseline.
If you think it is wilting (which is often the first sign of stress) and you think it is because it is too dry, give it a good drink, and look at it in the next couple hours. If it was too dry, it will quickly take up the water and look good again. Otherwise healthy plants that just get a little dried out and start wilting perk back up very quickly when watered.
If it is too wet, more water isn't going to help and may make it look worse. You just have to get a feel for it. I think the main people that have problems are the ones that just throw a hose on it and let it run on a timer or something without checking on the tree. While the trees are young and getting established, try to take a quick look at them at least every few days, see if the soil seems too dry or if the soil is starting to look like a soupy wet marsh. Somewhere in the middle is best.
These trees will likely do best slightly under watered rather than over watered. And under watering is very easy and rapid to correct, seeing results in a couple hours or less after watering.
This is my cherry tree, the roots that are showing should be covered, it's on a incline, which allowed mulch and dirt to wash away and those roots to become exposed when it was watered. It is actually a good example for this purpose, as it shows you the correct planting depth, you can see very clearly on this tree the root flare, and how the roots start, just under the soil.
This is a picture of the whole tree. It's a healthy 3 year old cherry tree (2 year old when I planted it about a year ago). You can see how I have the lower branches, on the bottom 3 feet or so pruned off. I would prune them higher if this was an area that people might walk under, but it is all planting beds under it.
Thank you very much for all the suggestions. Back to weekend and I am back to backyard..
I read and re-read.. looked at the threads you provided and comes up with the following things to do.
1. Take off some dirt from the roots so that flares are barely visible.. not exposed..
2. Remove dying and damaged leaves
3. Replace the rope with a stake and ensure that the stake is not passed through the root ball.
4. proper watering.. watch for under/over watering
5. Use root simulator for better results
6. spread shredded bark mulch.. away from the roots so that water is not retained in the root system
7. Pruning lower branches..
Now couple of questions:
1. What is the use of pruning ? Does this help the tree grow stronger and straight ?
2. My avacodo and lime is next to each other - what should be the distance I should maintain between these 2 trees ? 3 to 5 ft ?
3. How much quantity/ratio should I be applying with root simulator ?
4. In the lime tree, it looks like there are 2 trees (one is small plant) just next to the relatively big tree.
Should I take that out ? Would you like to see a picture of what I am talking here ?
Appreciate your responses.
Well, I started implementing above points.
1. Took of the plant. When we transplanted we didn't remove the container. I only did cut the bottom of the container.
Made the wider to ensure enough space around the root.
This time I will remove the plant from the container and put it right into the hole.
Now the question is - should we be mixing transplanter liquid when I was planting or after planting ?
1. Took off the dirt so that flares can be seen slightly.
2. Pruned all the low lying branches.
3. Removed rope
I will be putting now some mulch around it..
if you look at both Avacado and lime, some of the leaves does not look like in a good shape. Either they are yellow in color or the leaves has holes.. what does this mean ? Are they stressed out ?
One more thing is that - if you notice is closely, there seems to be two lime trees in the same place.. Do you suggest me to take off the small one and transplant in some other place ? Please suggest !!
First of all with a fruit tree if you don't prune out the lower limbs, your going to have fruit sitting on the ground as it gets older. Also you want to keep it pruned to direct growth up higher, so it becomes a tree, not a shrub.
These 2 poplar trees were planted at roughly the same time last year. The first one, was pruned very little, and is much more bush like.
This one was pruned down low and is a much more substantial tree, it is much taller than the other tree.
I would have to know the exact variety and if it is dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard. If you have the labels they should say the size and spacing for the trees. Unless they are dwarf, I am going to guess that most varieties need more than the 3 to 5 feet of spacing you mention.
Re: Root Stimulator:
There should be directions on the bottle. I generally mix at the rate specified on the bottle and will do between 1 and 3 applications spaced out about 5 to 7 days depending on how well the tree is doing.
Re: Lime Tree Thining:
I think I did see a photo of what your talking about with the lime tree. You can do it either way, leaving that second tree growing or cut it off.
As a general rule, I will try with most trees to get one good trunk going so they grow like a tree, also removing the lower branches, again, so they take on tree form, rather than turning into a large bush. It is a little bit of personal preference if you want to try and grow that second branch into a second tree there, if the main tree is still looking good, I would consider removing it, but if your undecided, it wont hurt much to leave it for a while and see how the main tree does.
I just bought another lemon to grow inside. I also got a Lime and a Orange tree. I think I am going to put them outside during the summer, then bring them into my southern exposure window for the winter months.
I hope this helps.
I normally plant, water well, then once watered well, apply the root stimulator as directed on the bottle.
The yellowing and damaged leaves may just be from stress, it could be a pest, but it is very hard to identify and diagnosis insect damage remotely.
The best time of year to plant most trees is in the spring or fall. However, most of the time with proper care, most trees will handle a summer planting. It is normal to expect to see some signs of stress when planting any tree in the summer, I would not worry much unless it starts looking like a more significant problem.
Thank you for the reply. I didn't notice your replies before.. Sorry about that.
Still working with them.
Regarding spacing, I don't know whether these two trees (lime and Avacodo) are dwarf or semi dwarf. One is existing in this house before we moved. Avacodo was given to my wife. Currently I planed them almost 8 ft apart.
I have one more avacode in the pot and need to transplant that also on the soil.I also have one more existing lime tree in the side yard (better grown than this) and want to move this also to the backyard.
So basically, I have one more Avacodo and one more lime needs to be transplanted in the same area where the current Avacode and lime trees are there.
What would be your suggestion ? I can't put anything next to Avacodo since that would be heavy shady. I have lot of room on the side of lemon tree.
So should I put other lemon(side yard) next to lemon tree and then avacodo or vice versa ?
This time, I am thinking of keeping 4 ft space between them.. what do you think ?
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