Rob Millar
Full Member
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:22 am
Location: England

Mulch or Bark for old neglected apple tree's- which is best?

I have read that it can be bad to give them manure/ garden compost as it contains alot of nitrogen which encourages lots of leafs and not alot of fruit, and that the carbon in bark is better. Am I on the right track?

If any one has any suggestions of other feeds I would be greteful

Note- I know that you should mulch or feed if you have given the trees a fairly hard prune, so im just trying to get information.

Many thanks everyone


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Rob.
Mulching your tree.
The main purpose of mulching fruit trees is to contain the water that is available to the tree.
Mulch should be applied after the soil has been well saturated so that the moisture is sealed below it and is then giving protection from evaporation in hot weather.
The actual mulch can be many materials from straw to well rotted manure.
The later thou should only be used if the tree is poor growing as it is high in N.
If manure is used keep it away from the trunk of the tree as it can cause damage through ' burning '.
It is interesting though that most growers who have large old trees allow the grass to grow right up to the tree without useing mullch for two reasons.
1. In general large trees have a more than adequate root system to deal with water needs unless drought conditions apply.
2. More importantly grass replaces Pottasium levels much better in the soil than anything else. Very usefull in old trees where this element is so necessary.

An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

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