Keeping fruit trees healthy involves watering them regularly. Most fruit trees should be watered at least once a week to prevent dehydration and prevent problems with leaf loss or pests. Although rain and natural water is important for fruit trees, irrigation and manual watering also keeps fruit trees healthy and growing.
There are many factors that gardeners need to consider when watering trees. The age of the tree is one of them. Giving an apple sapling the same amount of water as you would a mature apple tree would only drown the tree. Trees need less manual watering during a rainy period; too much water can lead to edema and fungal problems. All watering guidelines should be influenced by the individual needs of the fruit tree and the garden or orchard.
According to the University of Maine, young trees, including fruit trees, should receive about 5 gallons of water any week in which the tree receives less than an inch of natural rainfall. This helps keep the soil moist and provides the tree with the water it needs to take in nutrients and keep growing. Establishing a healthy sapling keeps fruit trees growing well as they mature and begin to produce a crop of fruit.
Mature Fruit Trees
Adult fruit trees require regular watering, like saplings, but their deeper root systems make them better able to make use of whatever water is available in the soil. The Adams County Nursery recommends giving trees at least 5 gallons of water every ten days under drought conditions. When the trees receive regular rainfall, smaller amounts of water are appropriate for mature fruit trees. Tropical fruit trees like avocado and mango trees should receive more than 5 gallons water to sustain growth.
Irrigation is vital for the health of fruit trees. Most fruit trees, like lemons, grow best in loosely compacted soil that allows water to drain relatively fast. Irrigation directs water to the roots of the trees and also helps it filter through the soil more quickly. Standing water around the base of a fruit tree is as damaging as drought, because it allows fungi to grow and suffocates the roots of the fruit tree.
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