The Q&A Archives: Natural Fertilizer for Old Apple Trees

Question: We have a few old apple trees on our property and would like to get better apples from them. Is there anything organic that we could use to make them produce more? Any ideas that you may have would be appreciated.

Answer: There are some things you can try, assuming the trees are in half-way decent shape to begin with, meaning not terribly rotted or diseased. First of all you can try renewal pruning and follow that up with a good organic mulch of hay or grass clippings, or perhaps straw. Have your soil tested and see if there are any nutrients lacking or if the pH needs to be adjusted. (Your County Extension should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results. They should also be able to tell you about any particular disease problems in your local area and possibly make recommendations for a spray routine. In some cases a simple application of dormant oil can cause drastic improvement. Their telephone number is 234-4303.) It may several years of care before you see notable results, but it is worth the effort.

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