How to minimize fruit tree problems
Aug 18, 2023, 10:00 AM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 12:39 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – A lot of the questions Taun and Maria received on the KSL Greenhouse show last week were on how to minimize fruit tree problems. In particular, most people had issues with their peaches and sweet cherries, which are stone fruits.
One problem with stone fruits is that they aren’t that dormant. As a result, the trees tend to collapse and die from damaged conductive tissue. Another reason they get heavily damaged is because of drought stress from the previous year.
With environmental conditions, it’s harder to prevent these problems. However, there are still ways you can minimize the damage.
The first thing you should know is that fertilizing should be finished in early July. The reason for this is so that the new tree growth has time to go into dormancy and mature the newly generated branches, which takes two or three months.
“If you’re forcing that tree to shoot a lot of new growth in August and September, all that new growth is highly likely to be frozen by the next spring because the tree didn’t have time to harvest,” Taun said.
Another thing you can do is stop the heavy pruning past mid-June because pruning stimulates growth and delays dormancy. Then in the fall, make sure to keep your fruit trees watered.
“If your irrigation gets cut off in mid-September to early October and there’s still green leaves on the trees, you may need to get a hose and sprinkler and water under the trees until the leaves start to turn yellow or orange for the fall. Then you can start to cut it off,” Taun said.