Almond, Apricot, Cherry, Nectarine, Peach

Care Guide

Fruit tree Care Guide

Cherry  Peaches Blueberry Landscape
Cherry, Peadh and Blueberries in the landscape

For 25 years we have researched and chosen varieties of these popular fruits that are the most insect and disease resistant. Unfortunately, these popular fruits are susceptible to some degree of insect damage if precautions are not taken. Our choice for guarding against damaged fruit is Surround® crop protectant. Surround® is a clay-based product used by organic growers. Surround® works very well. Preventing insects from damaging fruits.

In the spring after the petals of the flowers of your fruit tree have fallen, various species of aphid, codling moths, leafhoppers and plum curculios are attracted to the very small fruits. We spray Surround® at petal fall and keep the fruit covered with the Surround® for at least 5 weeks to control these insects. Surround® can be purchased from Edible Landscaping. See our web site or catalog for more information.

Peach, Apricot, Nectarine & Cherry

The fuzz on the peach helps Surround® adhere to the fruits. Surround® suppresses the same insects as apples plus controls "cat facing" from stink bugs, later in the growing season. Surround® can be washed off of your harvested fruits with running water. If there is a problem with bacterial spot or brown rot, Lime-sulfur can be used with the Surround® to control this on peach apricot, nectarine and cherry. (Cherry is susceptible to brown rot but not bacterial spot.) See our catalog for peach, nectarine and apricot that resist bacterial spot and brown rot. In June, young peaches can be girdled at the soil line by the larvae of the peach tree borer moth. Our prevention is to mound fresh wood ashes saved from last winter's wood heat at the base of the tree. This should be done to young trees especially. It deters the adult from laying her eggs. Timing in our area is about June 15th for the application of ashes or mothballs. Mothballs also work for control. Place mothballs around the trunk and cover with sand. Apricot, cherry and plum can also be host to the peach tree borer but to a lesser extent.

Plum

Surround® controls the same insects as on apples. Early Japanese plums usually need no more spray after the five-week petal fall spray program. Aycock, All Red and Achord are early ripening Japanese plum. (See our catalog or web site.)

Japanese Beetles
Surround® is a potent weapon against Japanese beetles, leafhoppers, rose chafers and thrips. Gardeners should apply Surround® before adult Japanese beetle emergence in order to prevent the establishment of a pheromone trail that will lead other beetles to target host plants. Even late application can give adequate control.

Planting
Grass inhibits young fruit trees, in fact grass gives off a growth inhibitor to the young trees. Keep approximately 3' diameter grass and weed free circle around a newly planted tree. "Burm" the outer circumference of the grass free area. So, when you water, the water stays within the circle. Be sure to water the tree especially through hot dry spells.

Dig the hole with a spading fork and shovel. The fork aerates the soil as it digs and keeps the sides of the hole porous. The shovel will remove the lose dirt not picked up by the fork. Grass can be removed with a flat shovel and used to fill a bare spot somewhere else in the yard.

Choose a site to fit the mature size of the tree. Have a water source close by or hook up irrigation. Watching your tree grow can be so much more pleasurable if its water needs are easily taken care of. Our 400 plus orchard at the nursery is drip irrigated. The plants are so much better off for it.

Keeps plants close, if your plant a tree in a forgotten corner the plant may be forgotten too. So they are close to the activity of the household.

If you have purchased a grafted tree, see if your can find the graft. It's usually a swollen area a few inches to 1 foot above the top of the pot. Usually place the plant deep enough in the hole so that the graft is about 1 to 2 inches above the soil. This generally applies to apple and dwarf pear. DO NOT PUT ANY RIPE COMPOST OR MANURE NEAR THE ROOTS. This can rot the roots. If you wish to use some fertilizer at planting, slow release minerals like rock phosphate (phosphorous), greensand (potassium), are fine. A product like plant tone also makes a fine top dressing. Apply compost as a thin mulch. A mulch of 2-3 inches is also good for moisture retention using wood chips. Manures can be broadcast or dug in away from the plant a few feet, so it will be available in the future, after the new tree has settled in. Spread roots from root ball especially if they are circling the pot. These are usually feeder roots so spread them and plant shallow instead of deep.

About 6 weeks after planting pull up young weeds before they become large in your cleared space around the tree.

Leafhoppers usually live in fields and tall grass areas. If you have a young apple tree near tall grass look for leafhoppers in June. Surround® works well to keep the leafhopper damage to new growth at a minimum. June July spray also will keep Japanese beetles off of young cherry trees. Check with your county extension agent for emergent dates in your area. Japanese beetles can kill young cherry trees. Spray right before adult emergence.

All of the above fruits grow best with a ph soil @ 6.2. Liming your fruit growing area yearly is a good practice especially for pear. Pears seem to have less fire blight problems with available calcium and good soil ph. Do not apply more than the 5lbs of lime @ 100 square feet at one time. If the soil needs more lime make several 5lb applications at 6-week intervals to raise ph. Of course about 17 of our western states have alkaline soil, so regular liming would not apply. Check your county extension for information and help.