Finish up fruit tree pruning now


Question: What should we be doing to our fruit trees right now?

You should be finishing your winter pruning now. Bloom on some fruit trees started early this year, and if you haven’t finished it, you can still go ahead while it is in bloom. Be careful of the bees.

Hold off on pruning grapes until later in February when the chance of freezing temperatures has passed.

Fertilize your fruit trees now if you haven’t. Use a balanced fruit tree fertilizer high in phosphorus. If you miss this application, you can use three or four liquid applications to the leaves a week apart in the coming weeks.

If you suspect you will have yellowing due to an iron deficiency, apply the iron chelate EDDHA to the base of the tree with your irrigation water. Trees susceptible to iron problems include peach, nectarine, plums, apricots, almonds, apples and pears.

Before or immediately after bloom but not during bloom, apply dormant oil to limbs, making sure you spray the undersides of the leaves, not just the tops.

Irrigations should be once a week as soon as you see new growth.

Prepare for thinning fruit trees of excess fruit in about a month. Summer pruning will occur around April. Watch for my postings on future activities.

Bob Morris is a horticulture expert living in Las Vegas and professor emeritus for the University of Nevada. Visit his blog at xtremehorticulture.blogspot.com.