The Q&A Archives: Revitalizing

Question: Is there any way to revitalize an over-fertilized young fruit tree? I planted the trees two years ago. They were hit by heavy frost after a few blossoms had opened. Then I fertilized them with about three handfuls and now they look real brown and dried. What can I do. Georganne Price Glouster, OH

Answer: If your fruit trees are showing some signs of life, then there's hope. All you can do right now is wait a little to see if the tree starts putting out green leaves. It may be too late, though. Fruit trees are vulnerable to all sorts of problems. It's hard to say from your description whether you indeed overfertilized them. It would depend on the type of fertilizer, how it was applied, the time of year, etc. It seems unlikely that that would have killed them. Fruit trees that are well-adapted for a given region should not be killed by a cold snap. It's true that flower buds may be damaged, but the tree should live. If your trees don't show any signs of life soon, you might contact the nursery where you bought the trees and see if the varieties are truly hardy enough for your region. Another common problem with fruit trees is mice girdling the trunk and killing the tree. During the winter when food is scarce, mice and voles will nibble on the bark, usually just below the snow line. If they nibble all the way around the trunk, they essentially cut off the tree's ability to get nutrients down to the roots and it will die. That's why you often see "mouse guards"--little mesh cages around the base of newly-planted fruit trees. New fruit trees also need lots of water, so that could have been a factor.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by plantmanager and is called "Captivating Caladiums"