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When do we put compost around fruit trees?

I got an apple tree for my birthday last year and it looks like the leaves are being eaten and some are curling and turning brown... I don't know if it needs more nutrition or what, I don't see bugs on the leaves.
But I also read you are not supposed to fertilize fruit trees at this time. Shcould I put compost around it and mulch? Is there ever a bad time for compost? HELP!!!! timeout
 
New 2- Ck out the specific variety of apple that you own on line or in a book. We've had a very hot dry summer, lots of times the stress may cause trees to let go of their leave prematurely.
You need to find out if your variety needs fertilizer in the fall or spring (you don't want to stimulate new growth on a tree that is already stressed)or just a very deep watering.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by new2green:
I got an apple tree for my birthday last year and it looks like the leaves are being eaten and some are curling and turning brown... I don't know if it needs more nutrition or what, I don't see bugs on the leaves.
But I also read you are not supposed to fertilize fruit trees at this time. Shcould I put compost around it and mulch? Is there ever a bad time for compost? HELP!!!! timeout



The first thing a tree (particularly a fruit tree) needs is regular water, a recentlly transplanted tree needs almost an inch of rain per week. To provide that it also needs a mulched area at least as large as its drip edge.

How does a gardener calculate what equals an inch of rain when it comes out of his/her garden hose? My nursery man suggested 20+ gallons per tree. At my local water pressure thats five minutes of water per tree. Watering collars are advisable when planting on a slope.

I like giving fruit trees some compost, but I'm not totally persuaded that they actualy need it. They do need that bark mulch and may need lime or phosphate if soil testing dictates.

Trees feed differently from a carrot or tomato. They work more with mushroom family of microrganisms. A cabbage feeds in relationship to bacterial action. Think of this whole population as your micro-herd.

So yes, you need to add things to soil for the microherd to eat in order for them to feed your plants. Its just woody plants like more fiber.
:-)
 
[hr]Beyond the mountains, there are more mountains.
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I pile old straw & hay around my fruit trees - being careful to keep it about a foot away from the trunk - any time I have it available. It rots down without any further help from me & provides a lovely combination mulch/compost all on its own. I spread it from one-foot away from the trunk out to the trees' foliage "drip lines" - as in the outer edge where the foliage would drip moisture off the leaves.

Other than that, the only other fertilizer I use is Gardens Alive! organic fruit tree fertilizer, which, if I (sigh) remember to do it, I apply in early spring as the trees are breaking dormancy.

This time of year when the trees are being harvested & will then be winding down into dormancy, I wouldn't fertlize, but compost (or some straw/hay) won't hurt since it's such a very slow release amendment.
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

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"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

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Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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I mulch my fruit trees in the spring with grass clippings being careful to keep it from touching the trunk which encourages earwigs and other bad bugs or even mice to chew on the trunk. I did apply fertilizer in the spring in the tree's first and second years but they are 10 years old now and producing tons of fruit with no care other than dormant oil spray and grass clipping mulch in the spring. By next spring the grass clippings will be completely broken down and I will start with new ones. I grow pears, plums,cherries, asian pear apples and chestnuts. We had an apple tree but it never bore any fruit. We were told that it needed another apple tree to pollinate it but we cut it down so I don't know.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Do not "fertilize" anything after about mid August. That applies to synthetic "fertilizers" as well as the very soluble organic ones, but you can but compost down anytime since the nutrients in compost are not all that readily available and will not stimulate new growth that will not be able to "harden off" before cold weather sets in.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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new2green, because apples lose their leaves in the fall, I suspect that's what's happening to your leaves. They look pretty ratty, then they fall off, and all winter your apple trees will be bare.

I don't think there's a time I ever stop putting compost around everything if I have it. As soon as it's ready to go out, it goes out.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
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Excellent example of climate/local differential and general information (salute now) between the previous two posts. What is proper for one location might not be advantageous in another - between Continental and Mediterranean climate regions.

BiodiversityGal and I are in the same region, though, and in our situation I agree "(a)s soon as it's ready to go out, it goes out". I just wish I had more of "it"

LtT
 
I am grateful that the innate ability for Cosmos to function does not depend on human understanding or acceptance.
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I'm not sure Licensed to till understood what is writen here since Biodiversitygal and I wrote the same thing, apply compost when you have it to apply.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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Didn't intend to create confusion. The general information I meant to refer to was, "(d)o not "fertilize" anything after about mid August".

LtT
 
I am grateful that the innate ability for Cosmos to function does not depend on human understanding or acceptance.
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I will take exception to the advice not to fertilize anything after mid-august. Fall is the best time to fertilize a lawn. In fact if you only fertilize your lawn once a year, do it in the fall.

Also I always put down a little fertilizer when sow turnips the first oF September.
 
Experienced By Doing
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There is a difference between "fertilizing" something and feeding the soil. "Fertilizing after about mid August will stimulate new growth in the plant that will be killed by the colder winter temperatures because that new growth is too tender.
Feeding the soil can be done even up to freezing weather with no harm because the nutrients in what is used to feed the soil need bacterial activity to become available to the plants growing there.
Feeding the soil and "fertilizing" are two different things that many people confuse.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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