drought and fruit trees

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mberryrfd, May 29, 2006.

  1. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where to put this so I will try here
    We are in the driest year since 1894
    and are trying to save about 50 trees from a orchard that was neglected for atleast 4 years
    We have been watering once a week but if it doesnt rain soon we will need to stop dont want to work the well to hard if it dopesnt start to rain soon and the prediction is currently through August of a lack of rain.
    I dont know what kind of trees but it looks like a mix of apple,apricot,peach or nectorine (sp) and maybe some cherry.
    they have budded and some have fruit on them how much water do they need to survive
     
  2. skruzich

    skruzich Well-Known Member

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    I think that trees if their mature, go into dormancy in the drought periods.
     

  3. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

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    How are you watering; are you on a drip system? They don't run that much and water useage is negligible. We have an orchard in central Ks. and have only watered the new (planted last year) peach trees and our triple crown blackberries. We use a drip system with a filter; works well. If this is an established orchard, prune the apples. Not necessary with cherries, pears or apricots. Don't expect lots of fruit first year. Pamper them a bit and yes, I would water at least once a week if I were you and it's hot and dry.
     
  4. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    no drip system we are watering it with a hose takes 2 hours
    I didnt do any pruning this year wanted to see what was alive or dead
    some of the trees are old and and some are young
    and we didnt expect any fruit this year due to their neglect over the past few years
     
  5. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you start watering them, you may need to continue doing it all summer. You say it is taking 2 hours to water--I assume 2 hours per tree?
     
  6. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    I would continue as you are doing. I would go to every two weeks and water even deeper if necessary to conserve water. Heavy mulching will also help to conserve water. If you decide to stop watering, do it gradually. Maybe go to once every two weeks for a couple of times, then every three weeks etc. Another option to conserve water may be to choose which look best and you want the most and water those at the expense of the others.
     
  7. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    Thank all for the respose we are down to every 2 weeks and will mulch in about the next month have to make sure the spring winds are done or the mulch will be blown into kindom come and hope for the best
     
  8. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

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    Remove anything in the immediate area of the trees that will compete for the water. Also, if you have cedar trees (propagate easily and grow quickly), they need to be removed around the apple trees. They give off a cedar rust that get on the apple trees and stunt or kill them.

    We had the same problem with drought last year and lost about 20 fruit and pecan trees. The new plantings are the weekest and need the water. We try and give ours about an 1" per week for the new ones. The trees that survided from last year are much hardier and don't require as much water.

    I am just now adding a drip system. I bought the 1/2" black poly tubing with the snap in connectors to run 1/4" tubing to drip emitters. I am using the adjustable 1-10 gal/hour emitters and putting a water hose end on the black tubing. Then I connected a simple mechanical timer on the hose so that it can run unattended. Each tree has its own emitter and is mulched around the base to hold in the moisture.

    If you ever think it is not worth it, remember that a small replacement tree about 6'-8' costs about $15 each and takes at least three years before they start to bear fruit.