The Q&A Archives: Fruit tress (apple, pear etc.)

Question: I planted apple and pear trees in my back yard last year. They are about 3 to 4 ft tall and seem to be doing well. How long will it be before they produce fruit. Also what type fertilizer should I feed them? I am in central Florida.

Answer: Plant maturity depends upon the cultivar but I expect your fruit trees will begin to flower and set fruit within the next 2-3 years. As a rule, both apple and pear trees are self-unfruitful. There are exceptions but generally you will need to different apple cultivars and two different pear cultivars in order for the trees to set fruit. If you have a single apple or a single pear tree and they are not self-fruitful, you will get flowers but no fruit. So, check the tags on your trees to determine whether or not you will need to plant second trees to act as pollinators.

A balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or similar mixture is what is used for fruit trees. Read the label, but generally, one pound of this mixture for each year of the tree's age is applied yearly until a maximum of 15 pounds per year is reached. The fertilizer should be applied in two doses with one half of the fertilizer in each application. The first application should be made during the dormant period in January and another application at the beginning of the rainy season in June. The fertilizer should be broadcast evenly beneath the tree.

Best wishes with your fruit trees~

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