Is there a trick to getting care for apple trees in fall right? Insects and other pests love burrowing into woodwork during late autumn. Unfortunately, Florida-based tree diseases are becoming commonplace, including the Huanglongbing virus that caused a landmark drop in apple production in 2005.
Tree care experts like Brothers in Arms Tree Services help maintain hundreds of acres of fruit-bearing trees for business owners and residents across Florida. However, they understand that the process goes far beyond keeping the lawn beautiful and preventing diseased wood or infestations in the apple tree.
In this explainer, these master arborists provide three tips to help you properly care for apple trees in the fall.
Water Your Fruit Tree When You See Its Foliage Diminishing
Research from the National Agricultural Statistics Service reveals that apple trees are a leading source of juices and fresh produce in many areas of Florida. A mature apple tree can survive a broad range of adverse weather events, pulling through harsh winters, hot summers, and hurricane-force winds. However, young apple trees need an uninterrupted supply of moisture, which cold winters can cut off.
Caring for less mature apple trees is far easier with the support of a professional tree-trimming service in Destin, like Brothers In Arms Tree Services. You have to discourage new growth, so your trees can rest during the winter. They also need enough water to endure any consecutive months without adequate rainfall.
Our master arborists recommend the following general watering tips for apple trees:
- Saturate the surrounding soil with water before noontime temperatures drop beneath 45 degrees Fahrenheit
- Ensure moisture penetrates at least two feet beneath the topsoil to prevent root damage from the lack of humidity
- Keep watering your apple trees between autumn rain showers.
Remove Fallen Leaves with a Rake, and Do Not Fertilize
Fallen leaves act as natural fertilizers, encouraging new branches and fruit growth. However, one key concept to properly care for apple trees in fall is to minimize new growth during the coldest time of year. Your trees will also be vulnerable to winter’s leaf-born diseases and mice infestations.
So, remove fallen leaves and do not apply fertilizer unless you see clear signs of malnutrition. Even then, use only a cup or less of all-natural fertilizer to maintain the health of your trees.
Refrain from Pruning During Autumn
Apple trees need hardiness to make it through the winter, and pruning encourages the growth of soft young branches that might invite pests. Instead, reserve pruning for late winter to early spring when insect activity and aerial fungal spores are minimal. Although, we do recommend removing overripe produce that might rot or invite raccoons and wasps.
Florida Tree Care from the Experts
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Call Brothers in Arms Tree Services at (850) 461-9500 today for more tips on how to care for apple trees in fall or to learn more about our emergency tree services in Florida.