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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Late winter is the best time to fertilize fruit or nut trees and ideal for pruning smaller berry plants including blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.

These recommendations come from Drs. David Lockwood and Wade Sperry at the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service.

“Pruning invigorates plants,” Sperry said. “It removes dead, infested or useless wood and it discourages insects from looking for an easy meal.”

A modest dose of fertilizer this time of year helps fruit or nut trees, said Lockwood.

“But to get the benefits you want from the fertilizer, you need to know what to apply, when to apply it, and where to apply it,” said Lockwood. “Soil test and other information is available at your local agricultural extension office.”

Sperry also suggested an extension office visit.

“Before beginning to prune fruit plants, you must know a few facts about the its growth and flowering habits,” said Sperry. “Visit the extension office in your area.”

Contact: Dr. Wade Sperry (615-832-6802)

Dr. David Lockwood (423-974-7208