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Keyword Search Results for:
Apple Trees

6 Found

Question: 749-2716
My apple tree is very sparse and has hardly any fruit. In the past this 12 foot dwarf has produced lots of fruit except two years ago. I do not use any sprays. What is happening? Gary, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
If you do nothing, you could have a good crop every other year. This year a thaw in March produced a spurt of growth that was stifled by the frosts. We also had a large dose of winter moth followed by the gypsy moth. Dry weather has inhibited a fungus that would have discouraged the gypsy moths. Some rain in the future will reestablish this natural fungus. Roses and fruit trees truly need an assist to bear good fruit every year. You could strengthen the tree by fertilizing now. Dig eight to ten holes about 10 feet from the trunk in a circle. Go as deep as you can using a crowbar or some like instrument. Fill the wholes with 5-10-10 granular fertilizer. This will be good for five years. Clover under the trees is a good source of nitrogen but you need the other elements as well.

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Question: 622-3911
My eight year old apple trees were blown over by the wind. Since the ground was so soggy, they did not appear to have the roots ripped. I righted the tree. Is there something else that I need to do to insure their survival? Ted, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
I would dig a trench about two feet deep in an arc away from the fallen side. This trench should be about four feet deep and at the leaf drop. Cut any ripped roots with a lopper or saw. This pruning would be helpful in any event. Root pruning is a regular practice in nurseries. Put your best soil at the bottom when you refill the ditch. You can add some 5-10-10 fertilizer to the surface of the ditch and make holes on the fallen side to accommodate the feeding. Holes on the fall side can be made with a crowbar that go down at least two feet. You will need a half dozen holes at the leaf drop.

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Question: 1029-4113
My wife started spraying our apple trees with a soluble fertilizer this year. We now have black spots on the fruit but not the leaves this year. We use a dormant oil spray every year. What can we do? Jim, Elizabeth City, NC

Mort's Answer:
Scab, fly speck or sooty blotch are best avoided with a program that includes dormant oil and Bordeaux Mix. As the bud swell in the spring, you can apply the first spray. A second spray is administered after petal fall with two more subsequent sprays. Follow directions on the label. Unfortunately, this program is too late for you this year. I would put out sticky, red maggot balls to discourage further egg laying by the flies. A soapy solution will help keep away most insects with the help of the red balls. I do not like to use soluble fertilizers on fruit and landscape material. The growth is too quick and requires constant follow up. Do not fertilize again for two years. Wash all the fruit and peel the fruit with black spots.

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Question: 1030-4213
Is this a good time to prune apple trees? Why are there so many stink bugs at this time? Gary, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
You can prune the apple tree after it has finished producing fruit but it is best to wait until it is defoliated. This will make it easier to deal with the tangled branches. Use a roofing compound or tree seal on all the cuts. There is no need to invite insects into the wood for laying their eggs. This year has been a prolific year for all insects in southern New England and other parts of the country. Many insects create progeny right up to frost. This is the reason that we should remove all landscape debris from our property in the fall. Insects will often lay eggs under brush and leaves as well.

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Question: 1085-514
We share some old apple trees on our border with a neighbor. THey did not fruit for five years. Recently, we did some heavy duty pruning and added some manure to the ground at the leaf drop. Do you think they will bear fruit? The trunk is about 15 inches in diameter. Steve, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
Manure is excellent for creating a god environment for other nutrients to release. I would supplement the fertilizer with 5-10-10. Make deep holes up to three feet, if possible with a crow bar. Fill the holes with the granular fertilizer and add a pinch of epsom salts in eat hole. You will need an oil spray to keep away the creepy crawlies in the early spring before bud swell, dormant oil spray can be used around 65 degrees and Neem used much earlier. A home orchard spray is highly recommended. Follow directions on the labels and do not spray, when the buds open. You will need multiple applications.

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Question: 1171-3914
My wife started spraying our apple trees with a soluble fertilizer this year. We now have black spots on the fruit but not the leaves this year. We use a dormant oil spray every year. What can we do? Jim, Elizabeth City, NC

Mort's Answer:
Scab, fly speck or sooty blotch are best avoided with a program that includes dormant oil and Bordeaux Mix. As the bud swells in the spring, you can apply the first spray. A second spray is administered after petal fall with two more subsequent sprays. Follow directions on the label. Unfortunately, this program is too late for you this year. I would put out sticky, red maggot balls to discourage further egg laying by the flies. A soapy solution will help keep away most insects with the help of the red balls. I do not like to use soluble fertilizers on fruit and landscape material. The growth is too quick and requires constant follow up. Do not fertilize again for two years. Wash all the fruit and peel the fruit with black spots. It is unappealing and hides rotting.

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