There are many reasons why people choose to plant trees on their property, which include to improve the appearance of the landscape and to provide shade. It's often necessary for homeowners to contact a tree service to trim their trees, care for diseased trees and to remove trees. We aren't affiliated with tree service professionals but we think homeowners should understand the importance of tree specialists and why their services are needed. We researched tree care and talked to professionals in the tree service industry to obtain the information we needed for this blog. As you read these articles, you'll learn when it's necessary to contact a tree service to maintain and care for your trees.
Some trees, even ornamental trees, are capable of producing fruit. These fruits can range from the very small and inconsequential to the large and messy. Certain plums, cherries, crabapples, and mulberries are especially problematic when it comes to the nuisance of unwanted fruit drop.
Problems With Fruit Drop
There are many reasons why you may not want to deal with fruit drop. First and foremost, it can be messy. Even small fruits can litter walkways and lawns, leading to the need for constant raking, sweeping, and hosing down of the pavement. Cars and lawn furniture below a fruiting tree can be prone to stains and hard-to-remove messes from the falling fruit.
Fruit can also attract unwanted pests, both large and small. Squirrels, skunks, mice, and rats are a few of the mammals that may be drawn to your yard if there is plenty of food from fruit drop. Insect pests may also come into the yard to feed, and once the fruit is gone, their feeding may switch to your desired garden plants. Even birds, when present in large numbers because of the promise of fallen fruit, can be a nuisance as their droppings overtake the yard and paving.
Finally, fruit drop can also be a problem for the health of neighboring plants and the lawn. The sugars present in fruits as they rot on the ground provide a good breeding ground for some bacterial diseases and molds. These can spread to healthy plants near or beneath the fallen fruit.
Fruit Management Techniques
Fortunately, there are a few ways to minimize the stress of fallen fruit without having to remove a beautiful and otherwise healthy tree.
If you haven't yet planted the tree but are drawn to a fruiting variety due to the gorgeous spring flowers, choose wisely. Some trees come in male and female varieties. If the male also has attractive flowers, then opt to only plant males. Otherwise, only plant the female if there are no male varieties of the tree in your neighborhood. You may also be able to find sterile cultivars that flower but don't fruit.
For existing trees, pruning is the key to mitigating fruiting woes. Most trees are pruned in late winter, but postpone pruning if you want to minimize fruit production. Instead, have your tree service prune the tree in early summer, after the tree is done with it's flower show but before it fruits. This way all of the developing fruits can be pruned off before they become a nuisance.
Contact a residential tree care service for more help with properly managing your fruiting ornamentals.