Q: I have a quick question about the apple, crabapple and pear trees that I planted last year. They did well through the summer and have grown by leaps and bounds. Now that it is almost a year later, what do I need to be doing as far as care? Do I need to spray, fertilize, prune, etc.? Is there some type of calendar I can get to keep me on schedule?
A: There are lots of things you can do to keep fruit trees healthy. Being proactive about it is your first good step! February is a good time to thoroughly spray trees with horticultural oil. This will suffocate insects over-wintering in bark cracks. When the trees bloom, spray with a garden fungicide. Consider spraying with Green Guard (www.gardensalive.com) when they leaf out. This new product strengthens a fruit tree’s natural ability to ward off disease and insects.
To prevent overwintering diseases, rake and remove all dropped leaves in December.