- Author: Anne Schellman
What is a Deciduous Fruit tree?
Deciduous fruit trees lose their leaves in fall, and include apple, pear, fig, pomegranate, nectarine, cherry, apricot, peach, and plum.
Planting New Trees & Understanding Where Fruit Originates
Sometimes a fruit tree mysteriously dies, and the gardener isn't sure what happened. A common cause is a tree that was planted too deeply. Root and crown rot slowly affect the tree, causing it to die years later. Watch the detailed instructions on how to plant correctly.
It's important to understand how new fruit develops and grows on the tree. Not all deciduous fruit trees produce fruit in the same place. It's important to know this so you don't accidentally cut off fruit spurs and damage your tree's ability to produce fruit. See this video for guidance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4fgVrf8XHE&t=250s
Publication - Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8048
Fruit Trees: Training and Pruning Deciduous Trees https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8057
Keeping New Trees Small – the Fruit Bush Method
Tired of out-of-control fruit trees? If you are planting a new tree, watch this video! It details the Fruit Bush Method, a specific way of keeping fruit trees small. See photos of 5-6' tall fruit trees planted over 30 years ago that continue to produce an ample amount of fruit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry4YAp6NzdI&t=1s
Pruning Established Trees
Other Helpful Publications
Fruit Trees: Thinning Young Fruit https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8047
What about Citrus Trees?
Citrus trees such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, lime, and kumquats are evergreen trees and need different care than deciduous trees. It's not recommended to prune citrus trees at the same time as deciduous fruit trees. Wait until spring to prune your tree for size and shape.
We are offering an online class on citrus on January 31, so watch for our registration advertisement in about a week. Locally, we will be teaching at 8 library locations about citrus during March./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>
- Author: Anne E Schellman
Pomegranate trees are often used in gardens and landscapes in Stanislaus County. They make a great tree and usually have relatively few problems. Recently, someone contacted the Master Gardener help line to describe some odd-looking insects she found on her tree, so we asked her to send a few photos.
The insects are called leaffooted plant bugs. They use piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on fruits, nuts, and ornamental plants. When they attack pomegranates, their feeding may cause the seeds inside to darken and wither. Large groupings of the bugs can leave behind an unattractive excrement on the fruit, although it is still safe to eat.
Adults overwinter in large groups this time of year, so we advised our caller to take a bucket of soapy water out to her tree and to brush the leaffooted bugs into it. This would help decrease the population before the adults could lay more eggs in spring. (up to 200!) We were impressed the caller was able to find the eggs and capture this image. Can you find them on this pomegranate twig below?
For more life cycle and management information, read the UC IPM Pest Notes: Leaffooted Bug. And remember, if you have a gardening or pest management question, you can call our help line at (209) 525-6802 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org