Dry season management — young fruit trees

Here are some strategies for managing young fruit trees during a dry season:

  • Delay planting as long as possible to assess the season and water allocations. If water is in short supply, it might be easier to hold new trees in a nursery site for the season or in a cool room for 12 months and plant next year.
  • Make sure the irrigation system is in place and fully operational by the time trees are planted.
  • Water new trees in thoroughly at planting time — especially smaller trees with finer, more easily dried out root systems.
  • Mulch newly planted trees after the frost period if straw or other material is available. This reduces water losses from soil evaporation.
  • Irrigate close to the tree, not the whole paddock (for example, invert micro-jets so the surface wetting pattern is reduced or replace existing micro-sprinklers with smaller wetting pattern micro-jets).
  • Eliminate weed competition early and widen the weedicide strip.
  • Remove any fruit on trees planted this season or last year.
  • Summer prune and train trees more frequently.
Page last updated: 22 Jun 2020