Side dressing fruit trees?

vfem

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I was given some horse manure... about 9 buckets full. Problem is its fresh, from like a stall cleaning this morning. I made my husband pile it up at the end of the property.

I wanted to use it for my fruit trees, but my trees or only 2 years old now. Aren't they too fragile? Will the horse manure burn them?

My neighbor told me they are dormant and it won't burn the roots... most of the issue with the 'hotness' will go away before the tree wakes and it will be fine. I just want to makes sure... I don't want to lose my trees... my husband would flip out, they're his babies!!!
 

ducks4you

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Oh, vfem--I just did that for my fruit trees. I have 2-4 year olds--1 pear, 2 cherries, 1 johnathan apple; and, 4 old, established--1 red apple (Type ?), 2 golden delicious, and 1 peach. I saw a program that said to mulch this time of year, before they flower. I "blanketed" my babies, and I encircled my adults along the drip line. My fruit hasn't been looking great--I have NEVER fertilized these trees in the 10 years we've lived here. I'm figuring that this will be a great year for all of them. Also, I'm bearing in mind what Pat said, that the manure mix will insulate the ground and keep it frozen longer. That could be a plus. A few years ago we had some early heat, then a killing frost. I lost a great many fruit blossoms from that. I certainly won't mind if my trees blossom late this year, so as to avoid that disaster.
I have been emptying my horse's stalls to use around the trees. I use a little diatomaceous earth, some pine shavings, and a lot of straw. I took some shots, but I need to download them--I'll try to get them uploaded tomorrow (then edit this post) so you can visualize what I did.
 

TillinWithMyPeeps

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I would be concerned that there might be noxious weed seeds in the manure that didn't get killed off. You could have a serious weed problem if there is.
 

vfem

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That's a good point too Andy!

I'm way concerned, but it is the time to do it if I'm going to do it... and with our land, I'm thinking they need a good healthy boost being on Year 2, we were told to do nothing last year. I'm not supposed to prune until next year either.

I just want to know if the manure is still to hot, or to mix it with compost, or straw. We're going to do it Friday IF we are to do it before spring at all.
 

sunstar

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Not sure about everywhere else but my fruit trees are waking up.
I went to prune a branch for the chinchilla and found sap running.
up here in NH they shouldnt be waking up yet.

agreed on weeds and if your trees are waking up then it will definately burn the roots.
 

ducks4you

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My fruit trees are still asleep--I looked and their eyes are closed! :p
Seriously, though, I got zero, zilch nada peaches last year, my apple needs aren't great, don't get that many cherries yet, either. This is a good year for me to experiment. I'll let you know if I kill any of them. But, I think, with 3 foot show drifts swirled around my orchard right now, that my trees will be okay. I had a ditch (from my fencing) that was next to a 3 1/2 ft wide oak tree (in the middle of this orchard) and I filled it with the same manure mix from my stalls in 2009. It wasn't affected at all, despite the proximity of this manure to it's roots last year. The weeds are good or bad EVERYWHERE on my property, and my horses have spread burrs mostly. Thanks for the advice, but I'll report back on this later in the year.
 

vfem

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ducks4you said:
My fruit trees are still asleep--I looked and their eyes are closed! :p
LMAO! :gig

My neighbor insists that it will be fine for our trees and he does it with his each year, getting the manure from the same lady. However, his trees are like 5-7 years old. Mine are 2! (ANd my Peach is even younger still)

So I am going to mix a small amount of the manure with good rotten compost I started last summer. I'll mix everything with straw and top off with fresh mulch.

I may skip the Peach, but we'll do the apple for now.

Thanks for the advice so far, still not going to do it until tomorrow when its 50 out and the winds have died down.
 

ducks4you

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Referencing post#2 on this thread, here's a couple of those photos I promised! :D
Winter2010006.jpg
This is my "orchard" where I blanketed and circled my fruit trees a few weeks ago, DIRECTLY from my stalls. (Note the "hills" around the trees, covered with fresh snow.) Fresh manure, mixed with fresh urine-soaked pine shavings, mixed with soiled wheat straw. This went right onto the snow, which now separates it from the ground above their roots. The shot was taken from my garden, and you can see where I've attached some cattle fencing for climbers. (This piece of fencing was part of a fence repair done prior to my "stallion fencing", which was installed February, 2008.)
Winter2010005.jpg

This is taken from behind the supports for my grape vines (the the left of the photo). The tall Oak is destined for death when I CAN AFFORD to chop it down. It had been struck by lighting before we bought the place, and has been dropping dead pieces for 10 years. I don't want it to fall on my new fencing!! :ep
FIgured it out~Manuring the Fruit Trees:
DSC_1906.jpg

DSC_1905.jpg
 
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