Feeding Fruit Trees
The best way to avoid a deficiency problem is to see to it that your trees get a yearly feeding of nitrogen. Starting when the trees are three years old, add 0.05 pounds of nitrogen per tree for every year of age. Stop increasing the dose when the trees turn ten.
The tree's growth rate will also be sluggish. Here are some general guidelines that can help you gauge whether your tree is growing as it should. Established peach trees should have shoots that grow 8 to 18 inches a year, while the shoots of young trees should grow at least 12 inches. Long shoots (24 inches) that have grown too fast generally don't produce many flower buds, nor do shoots on the short side (3 to 4 inches). The shorter shoots also tend to produce smaller fruit. A very good way to avoid a nitrogen deficiency is to establish a regular feeding schedule. Every spring apply 0.05 pounds of nitrogen for each year of the tree's age. Start when the tree is three years old; once it reaches ten years, stop increasing the dose. Be careful not to overdo it with the fertilizer, though. Too much nitrogen will result in soft fruit with a washed-out color and insipid flavor.