What Kind Of Fertilize Apple Trees

Fertilizing is an excellent way to replenish nutrients, especially nitrogen, in your soil. Nitrogen promotes green plant growth, which is exactly what you want to encourage before your apple tree reaches fruiting year.

Be sure to test your soil before Fertilize Apple Trees. Different soils may contain different amounts of native elements needed to support apple tree health and development. If you find that your soil lacks all the necessary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, etc.), be sure to choose a fertilizer that complements the soil’s nutrient deficiencies.

Know your soil and discover the importance of soil testing before making any changes.

Fertilize Apple Trees Information

Fertilizers—both synthetic and organic (naturally sourced)—are soil conditioners labeled with a “guaranteed analysis” for nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), and potash (K).
Alternatively, there are organic soil conditioners such as compost and aged/rotted manure. They are used like fertilizers, but they are not technically fertilizers. You can make your own organic soil conditioner, such as compost made from food or garden waste, or even find compost, manure, and other organic soil conditioners from local, trusted sources. While these help add nutrients to the soil to support your apple trees, they have no “guaranteed analytical value.”
Generally speaking, apple trees thrive when macronutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are present. Nitrogen promotes plant growth (leaves and branches). Phosphorus promotes root and flower formation. Potassium is responsible for the apple tree’s natural disease resistance and the availability of systems that support its overall health. Our water-soluble Stark® Tre-Pep® fertilizer is specially formulated for young apple trees (and all young fruit trees) because its ingredients complement and provide the nutrients these young trees take up during their first year in the soil.
Apple varieties that are “light food” on nitrogen:

  • Early apples
  • Soft-fleshed apples
  • Apples are mainly used for fresh consumption
  • Examples: Cortland Apple, Ginger Gold Apple, Golden Delicious Apple, Gravenstein Apple, Jonagold Apple, Macoun Apple, McIntosh Apple, Stark® Jon-A-Red® Jonathan Apple

Apple varieties that are “heavy food” for nitrogen:

  • Firm-fleshed apples
  • Soft-fleshed apples for cooking, seasoning, and more.
  • For example: Empire Apple, Granny Smith Apple, Honeycrisp Apple, Liberty Apple, Red Stayman Winesap Apple, Rhode Island Greening Apple, Stark® BraeStar™ Apple, Starkrimson® Red
  • Delicious Apple, Starkspur® Red Rome Beauty Apple, York Imperial Apple, Fuji Apple tree and Gala apple tree.

Apple trees and their fruits also benefit from the availability of micronutrients such as calcium. Honeycrisp apple trees, in particular, tend to require more calcium than other varieties. To avoid loss of tree and fruit quality due to calcium deficiency, it is recommended to take a liquid calcium supplement such as Nutri-Cal®.

When to Fertilize Apple Trees

In nutrient-rich soil, you can leave no fertilizer until your apple trees bear fruit (average: 2-4 years). When your new apple tree averages 8 to 12 inches of new green during the growing season, consider fertilizing it starting the following spring.
Typically, fertilizer is applied during the growing season once the soil becomes cultivable in early spring and stops* by July 1. Always refer to the information printed on the product label for specific fertilizing instructions. Note that local fertilization recommendations may apply at different times of the year. In the interest of your local community, please follow these restrictions.
After your apple trees start bearing fruit, their nitrogen uptake will increase. In response to this, it is recommended to apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to fruiting apple trees once in early spring. An example of a nitrogen-enriched fertilizer is our Stark® orchard fertilizer granules.
*To prevent injury at the end of the growing season, do not fertilize after July 1.

How to Best Fertilize Your Fruit Trees for a Big Harvest

Fruit trees need good nutrition to grow and produce, when and how much to fertilize your fruit trees. Or read on for 5 easy steps to fertilizing fruit trees!

Step 1: When to Fertilize Apple Trees

Fruit trees give us a worthy harvest in summer and fall, but they need feeding. The best time to fertilize is in spring, just before they sprout. It can be fed all summer, but it is best to stop nitrogen application from July.

Step 2: Measure to Determine If Fertilizer Needs

Not all fruit trees need to be fed the same amount each year. If you feed them too much nitrogen, they will grow a lot of leaves but give you very little fruit. Fortunately, a fruit tree can tell you what it needs, just measure it.

Steps to measure year-over-year growth Fertilize Apple Trees

First, locate last year’s annual rings. Growth rings are the points on the branch where the fruit tree started growing from the previous season. The latest growth you will measure is usually a different color than the rest of the branch.
Second – measure from the annual rings to the end of the branch. Repeat these measurements in several places around the fruit tree.
Third – Calculate the average of these measurements. This is the “annual growth” of the fruit tree for the previous season.
Repeat this step for each fruit tree. Even if you have several fruit trees of the same variety and age, they may not grow at the same rate and therefore have different fertilization needs. Note: If you prune your fruit trees much more than usual, removing more than 20% of the canopy last year, wait until next year to fertilize.

Check the graph to assess growth

Finally, use this chart to assess the annual growth rate of your fruit trees. If tree growth rates are on the low end or below the annual target growth rate, consider fertilizing the tree that year. If your fruit trees are growing at the high end or above your target annual growth rate, you don’t need to fertilize this year (but if things change, measure again next year!).

Step 3: Choose the right fertilizer

Fruit trees prefer organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
Blood meal, soybean meal, composted chicken manure, cottonseed meal, and feather meal are all good sources of organic nitrogen.
There are also specially formulated fruit tree fertilizers.
In addition to nitrogen, your fruit trees need other macro and micronutrients. Adding compost when fertilizing is a great way to provide organic matter and trace minerals. Azomite or Cascade Remineralizing Soil Boost are good sources of trace minerals.
A soil test can tell you if you need to add more phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients.

>> See more: Anthurium Leaves have brown

Step 4: Calculate how much fertilizer to use

When it comes to fertilizing fruit trees, more is not always better. Now that you know your tree needs fertilizer and have selected the perfect fertilizer, you need to determine the right amount of fertilizer for each tree.

For those of us who aren’t good at math – fear not – we’ll walk you through the fertilizer calculations.

The amount of fertilizer you use is calculated based on the age or size of the fruit tree and the nitrogen value on the package.

Determine how much fertilizer to use
Fruit trees need 0.10 pounds of “actual nitrogen,” or per inch of trunk diameter (measured 1 foot above the ground), per year. The maximum amount you should give a fruit tree in a year is 1 pound of actual nitrogen.
For example, if your fruit tree is 5 inches in diameter (or if your tree is 5 years old), multiply 5 by 0.10 pounds of nitrogen, or 0.5 pounds. This means that fruit trees need 0.5 pounds of actual nitrogen.
But wait, you’re not done yet! “Actual nitrogen” pounds is not as simple as weighing that much fertilizer because fertilizer is more than just nitrogen.
The NPK numbers on fertilizers show the percentage of nutrients per pound of fertilizer, not the actual amount. N, P and K refer to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
For example, if the N listed on the fertilizer package is 7 (meaning 7% nitrogen), then with E.B. Stone’s Fruit Tree fertilizer, each pound of fertilizer contains 0.07 pounds of actual nitrogen.
To calculate your fertilizer rate, divide the actual amount of nitrogen your tree needs by the actual amount of nitrogen per pound of fertilizer.
So, using the previous example, a five-year-old apple tree needs 0.5 pounds of nitrogen. The N value on the E.B. stone fruit tree fertilizer package is 7, which means there is 0.07 pounds of nitrogen per pound of fertilizer. Half a pound or 0.5 pounds divided by 0.07 pounds equals 7 pounds. The answer – 7 pounds – is the amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied to fruit trees.

apple tree care fertilizer
apple tree care fertilizer

Step 5: Fertilize

To help fruit trees “eat” fertilizer most efficiently, apply fertilizer evenly, starting one foot from the trunk and working your way to the “drip line.” The drip line is the perimeter of the furthest branch.

The easiest way to do this is to spread the fertilizer on the ground and rake in.
Digging a series of small holes is another method of fertilizing. It’s a bit more work, but it’s the best way to ensure fertilizer reaches the tree’s roots, especially when using fertilizers with less soluble nutrients such as phosphorus and mycorrhizae.
Dig a 6-inch deep, 12- to 18-inch hole in the same area where you spread the fertilizer. To make digging easier, you can use a drill with a cordless drill. Sprinkle a little fertilizer into each hole until it runs out. After Fertilize Apple Trees is complete, spread an inch thick layer of compost around the fruit trees and water.

For more information on all aspects of Fertilize Apple Trees and growing bare roots, pruning, pest control, and even preserving your crops—check out our videos and articles at craigslistsitesusa.com

Some of the staff’s favorite fruit tree books are UC Davis’ Home Orchard and The Fruit Gardener’s Bible. Now that you know when and how to fertilize your fruit trees, go ahead and make your dreams come true with your organic orchard.