Fertilizing crabs/apples now?

4wanderingeyes

5 year old buck +
Once my trees are a year old, they need to fend for themselves, unless there is a bad drought like last year. I think it makes their roots stronger by digging deeper for water. But that is my theory. My orchard is a couple hundred yards from a water source, and it’s not convenient to carry buckets of water.
 

Mortenson

5 year old buck +
I planted 3 peach trees on the same day. 2 at my wildlife orchard and 1 in my backyard. In the first 3 years my other 2 have only received a cup of fertilizer once. My yard tree gets the lawn fertilizer a few times a year (and shorter grass to compete with) and it's triple the size of the other 2 combined. I just thinned a couple hundred peaches off it, whereas the other 2 have maybe a dozen total on the trees. I'd fertilize.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
If you are going to fertilize 1st year trees, focus on phosphorous for root development.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
These trees are all within 100-200 yards of my house and I have a 25 gallon tank that I use for spraying (it's a mix on exit sprayer too so I can fill it with water and not be worried about what I sprayed last)..so water is not an issue...would a soluble fertilizer be preferred to the solid that I use on my fields?
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
These trees are all within 100-200 yards of my house and I have a 25 gallon tank that I use for spraying (it's a mix on exit sprayer too so I can fill it with water and not be worried about what I sprayed last)..so water is not an issue...would a soluble fertilizer be preferred to the solid that I use on my fields?
I planted 25 antonovka bareroot in late april. My rototiller transmission got locked up. The permanent location I hand dug, added some peat moss, a little bagged garden soil, and a bit of lime and triple 12.

After I put in about a dozen in the backyard. I finally got the transmission to shift. I rototilled, got more peat moss, a better dose of fertilizer, and covered the soil up with fabric and woodchips. This is a nursery area with trees every foot, extra spruce trees, and got apple / crabapple purning whips planted too. These trees get water twice as often, gotten a few more doses of miracle grow. I think the fabric / mulching has helped the roots stay warmer, but the better they're cared for, the better they do.

Many modern orchards have irrgiation drip loops.

A huge difference I have noticed is warm water. Take a few plants / trees water some with cold water. Water other with water warmed up a day or two. My aunt used to get pissed when we watered her garden wit h cold water. She was on to something.........

Also, use agriform tablets when planting trees.

Trees growth is based on the years it has grown already. Giving them a good 2 or 3 year head start helps alot.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I just found that one of my drop tines was looking a bit droopy and starting to lose some leaves...I don't know if it is the drier than normal summer, too much shade from other trees or something else so I dropped a handful or two of 10-10-10 in a slow drip 5 gallon bucket (I popped a big nail hole in the side at the bottom) filled it with water and mixed it up. Hopefully that will help...
 

FarmerDan

5 year old buck +
I'd bet a $10 bill it's not a fertility issue. Anything I say next is pure agronomic gut reaction. First thing I'd ask is about the hole you dug to plant those (that?) tree. Size of hole has a lot to do with tree survival - or so my past learning tells me. Are the roots trying to grow into the native soil now? That might be an obstacle.

That aside, my first reaction to seeing the severe yellowing of the leaves is chlorosis - an iron deficiency, sometime a soil pH issue.

The second observation is the black spots on the leaves. There hardly seem to be enough to impact tree health but your questions begs this observation. It's a fungal disease problem sometimes secondary to an insect problem.

The leaves at the bottom do appear greener than those at the top. Could just be a light illusion. Or, there's some problem with getting food and water up to the newer leaves. And, those bottom green leaves look cupped and curled, not a good sign if I'm reading the picture correctly.

Last one - it looks like there are new leaf buds forming opposite the existing leaves. Not sure how to interpret that. Are they buds forming for next year - as would be expected? Or is it a response to whatever might be the problem? They look like they will unfurl yet this year - not a good sign.

And to repeat, none of what I mentioned above is a N-P-K problem. It's a problem getting the N-P-K into the tree's vascular system.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I'd bet a $10 bill it's not a fertility issue. Anything I say next is pure agronomic gut reaction. First thing I'd ask is about the hole you dug to plant those (that?) tree. Size of hole has a lot to do with tree survival - or so my past learning tells me. Are the roots trying to grow into the native soil now? That might be an obstacle.

That aside, my first reaction to seeing the severe yellowing of the leaves is chlorosis - an iron deficiency, sometime a soil pH issue.

The second observation is the black spots on the leaves. There hardly seem to be enough to impact tree health but your questions begs this observation. It's a fungal disease problem sometimes secondary to an insect problem.

The leaves at the bottom do appear greener than those at the top. Could just be a light illusion. Or, there's some problem with getting food and water up to the newer leaves. And, those bottom green leaves look cupped and curled, not a good sign if I'm reading the picture correctly.

Last one - it looks like there are new leaf buds forming opposite the existing leaves. Not sure how to interpret that. Are they buds forming for next year - as would be expected? Or is it a response to whatever might be the problem? They look like they will unfurl yet this year - not a good sign.

And to repeat, none of what I mentioned above is a N-P-K problem. It's a problem getting the N-P-K into the tree's vascular system.
Thanks for the info! Could it possibly be an easy fix (It's been hot and drier than normal and I haven't watered the tree at all?)
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Derek -

In your pic at post #1 - those are spots on the leaves - not bugs, right?? If they're spots, it may be a fungus problem, which might require spraying with a fungicide like Captan. Some organic growers recommend neem oil sprays for insects and fungal problems.

Dry there?? From our local radar here in SE Pa., it looks like your area has been getting fairly regular rain / thunderstorms ........ did they miss you??

I don't know how much effect the grass and weeds around that tree are having - but on all our newer trees at camp, I sprayed glyphosate (Roundup) around them for the first couple years so the roots didn't have to compete for nutrients with grass & weeds. Also - did you put down any lime around them?? I was told by a Penn State prof that lime is the "key" that unlocks nutrients in the soil so they are available for plants to take up. Check your pH level around your trees. With a sub-par pH reading, your trees will have a hard time trying to take up whatever fertilizer you put down, or any native soil nutrients that are already there. Apple trees like a pH above 6.0 - and better at 6.3 / 6.4

Keep us posted.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Derek -

In your pic at post #1 - those are spots on the leaves - not bugs, right?? If they're spots, it may be a fungus problem, which might require spraying with a fungicide like Captan. Some organic growers recommend neem oil sprays for insects and fungal problems.

Dry there?? From our local radar here in SE Pa., it looks like your area has been getting fairly regular rain / thunderstorms ........ did they miss you??

I don't know how much effect the grass and weeds around that tree are having - but on all our newer trees at camp, I sprayed glyphosate (Roundup) around them for the first couple years so the roots didn't have to compete for nutrients with grass & weeds. Also - did you put down any lime around them?? I was told by a Penn State prof that lime is the "key" that unlocks nutrients in the soil so they are available for plants to take up. Check your pH level around your trees. With a sub-par pH reading, your trees will have a hard time trying to take up whatever fertilizer you put down, or any native soil nutrients that are already there. Apple trees like a pH above 6.0 - and better at 6.3 / 6.4

Keep us posted.
yep those are spots not bugs and this tree is in a pretty wet area..the one I just mentioned earlier today is near that tree but looks alot more dried out and wilty
we have been getting some storms but alot of them have been missing us by 10-15 miles to the west and everything is ALOT drier this summer than the past couple
I have weed mats around all my trees and try to keep everything weedwhacked to a greater or lesser degree..might look into hitting it with some roundup in a decent circle around them
I did not lime around any of the trees (might have thrown a handful or so of lime in at planting time)..I think I have a bag in the garage so I guess a few cups around the edges and onto the weed mat wouldnt hurt right?
Thanks again Bows
 

FarmerDan

5 year old buck +
Thanks for the info! Could it possibly be an easy fix (It's been hot and drier than normal and I haven't watered the tree at all?)
I don't know but you should. Too much dry soils is not good. Too much wet soil is not good. Goldilocks and the three bears. Bring out the $10 bill again. I'd bet water is not the problem - although it might be a contributing factor.

I want to know about the hole the trees planted in. Was the tree bare root of potted. Did you dig a hole? And if you did, did you dig it just deep enough and wide enough to contain the bare roots or the pot? Or was it bigger? How much bigger. If you dug a hole how hard was it to did. What color was the soil?
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I don't know but you should. Too much dry soils is not good. Too much wet soil is not good. Goldilocks and the three bears. Bring out the $10 bill again. I'd bet water is not the problem - although it might be a contributing factor.

I want to know about the hole the trees planted in. Was the tree bare root of potted. Did you dig a hole? And if you did, did you dig it just deep enough and wide enough to contain the bare roots or the pot? Or was it bigger? How much bigger. If you dug a hole how hard was it to did. What color was the soil?
I dug a pretty deep hole (I had heard of this being an issue and was worried about it) and the bare root tree had pretty good roots. I may have done something wrong here, but I put some dirt back in because I felt like it was too deep, but it was probably 15-18" wide and maybe 20-24" deep. It wasn't actually that hard to dig, and the soil was actually pretty good looking, dark brown with some leaves and a few rocks.
 

FarmerDan

5 year old buck +
I dug a pretty deep hole (I had heard of this being an issue and was worried about it) and the bare root tree had pretty good roots. I may have done something wrong here, but I put some dirt back in because I felt like it was too deep, but it was probably 15-18" wide and maybe 20-24" deep. It wasn't actually that hard to dig, and the soil was actually pretty good looking, dark brown with some leaves and a few rocks.
The hole sounds deep!

Watch this short video
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Derek -

In your pic at post #1 - those are spots on the leaves - not bugs, right?? If they're spots, it may be a fungus problem, which might require spraying with a fungicide like Captan. Some organic growers recommend neem oil sprays for insects and fungal problems.

Dry there?? From our local radar here in SE Pa., it looks like your area has been getting fairly regular rain / thunderstorms ........ did they miss you??

I don't know how much effect the grass and weeds around that tree are having - but on all our newer trees at camp, I sprayed glyphosate (Roundup) around them for the first couple years so the roots didn't have to compete for nutrients with grass & weeds. Also - did you put down any lime around them?? I was told by a Penn State prof that lime is the "key" that unlocks nutrients in the soil so they are available for plants to take up. Check your pH level around your trees. With a sub-par pH reading, your trees will have a hard time trying to take up whatever fertilizer you put down, or any native soil nutrients that are already there. Apple trees like a pH above 6.0 - and better at 6.3 / 6.4

Keep us posted.

I have read that crab apples can tolerate about 1/2 pH unit lower and do ok. It seems to me that this should apply to the rootstock and not the graft above. It makes me wonder if this is why I prefer dolgo rootstock over Anty.


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sandbur

5 year old buck +
I have a poor doing tree on an area that is a bit too wet. Bullock on Anty.

I pulled the window screen off of it and tipped back half of the fabric tree mat. There was an ant colony there and I actually had a double layer of fabric under part of it.

I removed the double layer and put some ant bait under the fabric. I also pulled some of the tall grasses outside of the fabric. The tree is doing much better.

I burned a tree with drift from spraying roundup around it. Be careful. That tree eventually broke off after getting a lean from a fruit load, a strong wind, and a weak one side of the tree. It broke right where the roundup burn was. This took years before it snapped off.

All is not lost. The Wickson on B 118 now has a pink pearl on the rootstock.


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Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I have read that crab apples can tolerate about 1/2 pH unit lower and do ok. It seems to me that this should apply to the rootstock and not the graft above. It makes me wonder if this is why I prefer dolgo rootstock over Anty.


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I had tested the field closest to both the Kerr and the Drop Tine a few years ago and it had a pH of 5.7. I have limed the field a couple times but never around the trees. I will try to remedy that this weekend.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I have read that crab apples can tolerate about 1/2 pH unit lower and do ok.
One of the reasons I love crab apple trees!!! YOU played a big role in my switching to many varieties of crabs after I read your posts. They're tougher, IMO, and less headache to grow. I don't baby ours at camp - and they do FINE.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
just to check...when spreading the lime (I am using pelletized) would an amount of about 2 cups per tree spread out around the weed mat area (I know its not supposed to go right tight against the trunk, but it can't on my trees due to window screens) be sufficient? thanks! might have some time to do some spreading this weekend.
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
I'd sprinkle about 1/2 cup around the cage perimeter. Lime takes a while to work into the soil, so 2 cups won't get there any quicker, and you don't want to go overboard. Apple trees do fine between 5.8 and 6.4 ----- If your pH goes too far toward alkaline, the trees might suffer. I'm no expert - I get my info from PSU and other universities.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I only fertilize in early spring and use fruit tree spikes on certain trees . I make a hole for the spike, push it in and add a small handful of lime on top of the spike. I usually throw another handful at the tree.

Many deer apples get no care or fertilization at all, except for a few exceptional varieties.


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