Fruit Trees... use compost or mulch or both or neither

Asked January 17, 2021, 11:56 PM EST

We have 6 fruit trees. 2 peaches, 3 apples, 1 Italian plum. About 7 years ago we planted the bare root peach trees, which grow vigorously but do not bear fruit. 5 years ago we planted young, small apple & plum trees. They are not bearing fruit and do not grow vigorously. The photo shows that we weed around each tree. This is unpleasantly labor intensive. Recently we applied white latex paint with bone meal to all of the trunks (applied after this photo)
We have been reading about compost and mulch for fruit trees. There are conflicting opinions. We would like your opinion and advise. Thank you!!

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for your question. You have an interesting combination of fruit species, each of which has a different need of pollenizers (plants of the same species which can cross-pollinate, primarily based on timing of pollen release). You do not indicate what varieties you have planted, so I cannot analyze that factor. I suspect that the lack of fruit has more to do with that issue than fertilization. But successful fruit production requires a myriad of conditions. I suggest you read the following Extension publication on growing tree fruits, to see how it is done effectively, and you may see what changes are needed: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec819/html Latex paint is helpful only for a few issues you may not have: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/ENVIRON/whitewashing.html Please write back if you need further input.