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Fruit Tree Care Guide (Illinois)


In order to have the best quality fruit, similar to what you would find at a grocery store, you will want to treat your fruit trees. There are a few different products you should apply to your trees throughout the year, so that your tree remains healthy and produces quality fruit.


Late-Winter / Early-Spring


(December – March Most Years)


During the dormant season, you will want to spray dormant oil onto the trees. These help to suffocate any insects overwintering on the tree. We recommend Bonide’s All Seasons Spray Oil. Typically in Illinois, the cutoff for dormant oil spraying is the end of March (this can vary year to year based on the weather).


During late Winter- early Spring, you should also remove any dead or infected wood from the previous year. You can also thin out the canopy of the tree during this time. Thinning the tree out regularly will promote good fruit production, since the tree will have more energy to use for the fruit.




In early Spring, you will want to fertilize your tree to provide it with all of the nutrients it will need to produce good fruit. In order for a fruit to contain certain nutrients, those nutrients need to be readily available for the tree to soak in when it is producing fruit. We recommend using Espoma’s Organic Tree-tone for fruit trees.


During the growing season there are many different fungal disease and insects that you will want to avoid. The best method of prevention is Bonide’s Orchard Spray. Start applying the spray after bud break, and repeat every 10-14 days up until 3 weeks before harvest. It is recommended to not do more than 8 total applications.


*DO NOT spray insecticides when the tree is in bloom to avoid killing beneficial insects like bees and other pollinators.*

Photo of an apple from one of Wasco Nursery's apple trees' fruit, shortly before it was eaten
Photo of one of the apple trees planted at the Wasco Nursery Sales Yard