The Q&A Archives: Fruit and Nut Trees

Question: I now have the property I was raised up on with established pecan, fig, plum and canning pear trees on it. I don't have a clue, help? Sue Parker

Answer: Mature fruit and nut trees usually get their nutrients from the soil and because their root systems are deep, it is difficult to fertilize deeply enough to benefit the roots of the trees. However, if you want to feed them, use a balanced, multi-purpose 16-16-16 plant food in amounts as recommended on the label. The fertilizer is evenly distributed beneath the canopy to the drip line (not piled at the base of the tree), and then watered in. Subsequent watering will move the nutrients down into the soil. The trees should be watered deeply. If they are in a lawn area, when the lawn is watered, the moisture will percolate down to the tree roots. If they are in an orchard where no other water is applied to the ground you'll want to build basins beneath each tree and fill the basins with water, repeating several times to allow the moisture to trickle down to the root mass. Your cooperative extension office should have publications on general care of your mature trees. Contact Bay County Cooperative Extension 647 Jenks Ave # A, Panama City, FL 32401. Phone: (850) 784-6105.

Best wishes with your landscape.

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