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Help save these fruit trees

 
Posts: 161
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Tractor supply had many trees under an overhang completely neglected, more than 30 of them were fruit trees, I was able to buy them for 5 dollars a piece. Average height is 8 ft some 12-14 and some 5-6 ft high so nice sizes.

They need help, the pots were much too small, they werent watered in who knows how long, some had completely defoliated, some of the varieties will never produce fruit in Florida so why they were even in Southish florida Ill never understand.

I brought them home Thurs evening, same night put them in 15 gallon pots and added some cheap Lowes tree and shrub potting mix. I also gave them some liquid miracle grow stuff cause its all I had.

Some are showing improvements, some dont look much to any better. There were also 7 fig trees, they spruced up almost immediately with the sunlight and possibly the miracle grow helped.

Ive already put the fig trees in the ground on my property. Ive noticed fig trees appear to be a very hardy tree.

Id like to save every one of them regardless of wether Id see fruit or not. Im sure they would make very nice looking trees.

Can someone please tell me what else I could do? Thanks
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neglected fruit trees
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Neglected fruit trees
Neglected fruit trees
 
pollinator
Posts: 455
Location: Utah
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It might take a while before you start to see signs of life, particularly because we're coming into what the trees recognize as "winter."

If the tree is still alive the branches should be flexible. If they snap when you bend them down gently, that part of the tree is likely dead. Cut off a branch toward the end and see if there is any green. If not, use a sharp, sterile knife and gently cut into the bark down near or on the trunk. Don't cut THROUGH the bark, just into it. Depending on the type of tree the bark will be thicker or thinner. You may just need to scrape the bark. You should be able to see life under the bark. Even if the tree has gone dormant (which most of them probably have) the cambium layer under the bark should be soft, not dry.

Trees will go dormant under stress, particularly if they're close to what they consider winter. Separate out anything that is showing signs of improvement, keeping the others where you can keep an eye on them. It might take weeks or months to see if they have survived.

Thank you for saving them.
 
Posts: 110
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
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Can you cut into them on top and see if there is green in the stems?
 
Posts: 40
Location: Vancouver, Washington
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What a good find! Since your going into a dormant period but you're not there yet, I wouldn't do any trimming now.  Wait until you know for sure what's dead and what's not.  I think you did the right thing in uppotting them right away and getting them in the ground may help even more.  Patience, a little shade in the afternoon to protect any new leaves that emerge, and careful watering will help.  Keep them moist but not sopping wet and don't let them dry out again much, keeping in mind that a damaged tree is not going to take up as much water as a healthy one.  Maybe some rooting hormones would help? My experience is that a plant has about three lives.  Almost kill it once, it will usually come back.  Almost kill it twice, you better be more careful.  Third time...well.  
Had to nod my head in commiseration on what you said about the stock the store had.  I lived in South Florida for many years and saw stuff all the time in the big box stores that had no business being in South Florida.
Good luck! I bet you'll get a bunch of keepers.
 
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 161
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Janet Reed wrote:Can you cut into them on top and see if there is green in the stems?



Surely they are all green, all of them with the exception of one are showing definite signs of improvement, I thought the apples ( which Ill never see fruit from ) were gonners but the leaves are straightening up.

2 are defoliated peach trees, one is now showing new leaf buds, the other has not changed, the branches on both trees is still green though. Im sure the one that shows no new leaves yet is still alive.

Now I need to decide if I should put them in the ground 2 hrs north of me or continue nursing them in the pots. Id like to out them in the ground but want to do whats best for them.
 
Jen Swanson
Posts: 40
Location: Vancouver, Washington
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I'm so happy for you that they are recovering!  Tough call on putting them in the ground now.  Is there irrigation where you are going to put them in 2 hours north of you or do you expect it to rain frequently?  If not, seems to me they are probably still a bit delicate to put them where you can't watch over them.  I'd wait until they could weather some weather.
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 161
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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Thank you. At this point I'm realizing that I'm biting off possibly more than I can chew so they are gonna have to wait in the pots for at least a bit
 
Jason Walter
Posts: 161
Location: 9A Marion County Fl
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No huge deal but as it turns out these trees are suited for Jacksonville area with its higher chill hours, out of the 20 trees I show above I may see fruit on 2 of them, my chill hours are 3-400 hrs ( or used to be before global warming ) and most of these trees are in the 5-800 range.

Any way to get around this? I dont want colder weather, if I had that Id lose more plants than Id be gaining.

Im sure they will make nice looking trees regardless
gift
 
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