When to fertilise crab apple?

Apple    York, UK

I was wondering if it is necessary to fertilise the mature crab apple trees I have in my garden and if so when? Is it best to do this early in the Spring or does it matter? We know very little about maintaining trees but very much like the pair of apple trees in our new garden and would like to look after them.

Posted by: Johnboy (2 points) Johnboy
Posted: March 25, 2013

Steve commented,
We just bought a house that has had a small tree that is about eight years old. The former owner said they never knew that it bloomed or had any fruit. Is this a clear sign for in need of fertilizer? Nitrogen? Phosphorus? Potassium?
over 6 years ago.

deactivated commented,
Steve, looks like this thread is almost three years old - since your case is quite a bit different from the original question here, I recommend posting a new question.
over 6 years ago.


It depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for new growth or fruit or to green it up, I would wait until you know your frosts are gone, then hit it with a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10.

If the tree is doing fine, it may not need much more feeding than just laying mulch or grass clippings around the base.

One time you don't want to fertilize is in the fall. That can promote a flush of new growth which will be sheared off by freezes later on. I try to feed my fruit trees in the spring and summer.

Posted by: David Goodman (67 points) David Goodman
Posted: March 25, 2013

Johnboy commented,
Seemed to be doing fine in the autumn, will see how the new growth looks. I just want to maintain them really. Thanks for your help David, appreciated.
over 9 years ago.

I've never seen a need for crabapple to be fertilized. If it's an established tree then it can be nice and happy on its own. If it is stressed and there are competing plants around the base then I would manage those before adding fertilizer. Also, sandy soils that don't have much organic matter may require you to add fertilizer too. I'd wait to see how the leaves and blooms look this spring.

Posted by: Kathryn Fiedler (72 points) Kathryn Fiedler
Posted: March 26, 2013

David Goodman commented,
Yeah... they're tough trees. I like giving mine a little here and there - but I have sandy soil. My preference is to simply add organic matter and let that rot in over time.
over 9 years ago.

Johnboy commented,
Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it
over 9 years ago.

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