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Old 07-19-2013, 02:37 PM
lionfan19 lionfan19 is offline
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Default Fertilizing apple trees

Fertilizing apple trees. I have a bunch of apple trees on the property and would like to try to fertilize them. what NKP formulation do you guys use with trees? Have read that using too much N is not a good idea. What time of year do you apply it and how (tree spikes, dig holes at drip line).
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:34 PM
OUTDOORS ADDICT OUTDOORS ADDICT is offline
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I think the first year, you stay away from it, from what I read.

After that, 1lb per 1inch caliper....I think??? Spread evenly around the dripline....again I believe. I am no pro here.

I think if you do an advanced search for fertilizer threads, there are a couple.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:50 PM
Lot2Learn Lot2Learn is offline
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Here's one of the threads: http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthrea...ple+fertilizer

Maya posted a link to this article: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1401.html

Basically, the article recommends .25 pounds of 10-6-4 per year the three has been planted, up to 10 years old. That assumes the tree isn't planted in sod (i.e, you're using Lumite, plastic, or some other technique to keep the ground clear of vegetation around the base of the tree).
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:18 PM
lionfan19 lionfan19 is offline
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trees were planted between four and ten years ago. Some are pretty good sized. The property is woodland and very far north so they grow very slowly. I had my first flowers on the ten year old trees this year. I was looking to fertilize to add more nutrients to help speed things along if possible.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:57 PM
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NH Mountains NH Mountains is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionfan19 View Post
trees were planted between four and ten years ago. Some are pretty good sized. The property is woodland and very far north so they grow very slowly. I had my first flowers on the ten year old trees this year. I was looking to fertilize to add more nutrients to help speed things along if possible.

I'd be looking at how much light they get? I'd also make sure several of the main limbs are pulled down horizontal. This should help to produce the fruit spurs.

I have a Cortland at home that didn't flower for the first 6 years and has flowered nicely ever since.

I think it's getting late in the season to fertilize. Newer growth could get frost damaged. Here's some good information. http://groworganic.com/organic-garde...ur-fruit-trees

If you want to fertilize take a metal bar and sink a few holes in the ground. Pour some 10/10/10 in the holes. I would do this in the fall after leaf drop. That should help if the trees haven't been producing new growth and they have proper light.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:16 PM
mtfuge1984 mtfuge1984 is offline
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I spent time talking about when and how to fertilize my apple trees with a local orchard grower because my trees are 7 years old and very few of them had blossoms. He gave me the fertilizer that he uses and said it varies from area to area. Then I took a pruning class and learned that I was doing it all wrong. The cneter of the tree needs a lot of air. I will never forget his line "The teees need to breath, you should be able to throw a cat through the center of the tree when you are done pruning."
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:48 PM
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the vast majority of sandy northern Michigan has a low soil pH, say around 5.5 or so most places. fruit trees need a pH of around 6.5 to be able to take-up most soil nutrients efficiently. so before trying to fertilize them, first find out the soil pH around them. most likely, you will need to add lime to the soil, which is cheap and easy. then fertilizer will work much better.

you can also aid their growth by carefully killing any competing plants underneath them, such as grass, etc. mulching under the trees will also help retain moisture in dry sandy soils as well, again improving growth.

I would lime heavily this year, cultivate up the weeds present with a hoe, and then spread a few inches of mulch all around the trees. don't use an acidic mulch such as oak or pine chips or sawdust, use debris from 'sweet' woods such as poplar or maple. then fertilize just before next growing season.

also do your pruning after the growing season. you won't gain much by doing it this time of year; let the branches that are there finish sending reserves to the roots for next year.

MSU Extension has a great set of resources for helping people make their apple trees productive, check them out. they have an office in every county with free literature, and a good online presence too.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:50 PM
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p.s. where in northern Michigan? there are places that aren't your standard pine/oak/sand/acidic site.


I just came home from a week all over the U.P., from Ironwood to St. Ignace. I was quite impressed by the good apple crop coming on up there on all the old apple trees around all the old farm sites.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:39 PM
lionfan19 lionfan19 is offline
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Land is in Ontonagon County, western end of U.P. Its your basic aspen and white spruce woodland with mixed maples. The fruit trees I have planted range from the six in a forest opening planted ten years ago to the ones that border the edges of my foodplots that have been planted in the past five years. All look healthy but are not growing at the rate of the ones I have planted behind my house in southeast Michigan. Its stands to reason that with a shorter growing season and poorer soils that this would be the case. I have never tried any fertilizer on them so was considering using those spikes next spring. I usually prune them in November once I am finished deer hunting.
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:01 AM
new forest new forest is offline
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ahhh, in Ontonagon Co. the soil situation could be just about anything. get a soil test done through the Extension office there and proceed from the results it shows, would be my advice. I think they cost about $30.
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