Fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any garden or landscaped area. Not only do they provide shade and beauty, but you get the added benefits of pleasing scents and delicious fruit that you grew yourself.
Curious about how to get started? Are fruit trees difficult? When is the best time to plant? What will you need? In this guide we will endeavour to answer all of your questions as quickly and completely as possible.
There’s a lot to get through, but we think that you’ll find that planting your own fruit trees is easier than you think.
The most important and most frequently asked question we get about planting fruit trees is...
When Are The Best Times To Plant?
From November through February, bare root trees are dormant, this is the optimal time for planting. Be aware DO NOT plant when the ground is frozen.
These trees can be safely planted from September through early May. If you do plant during the winter though, be sure to wait for a milder period and avoid freezing at all costs.
WHEN NOT TO PLANT
As a rule, never plant fruit trees in the summer. This is when fruit trees do their fastest growing, (mid-May to August). Planting in summer cuts down or interrupts proper growing cycles.
Things To Know
- Is the area you intend to plant your tree in clear from power lines, sewers, driveways and sidewalks?
- Know how large your fruit tree can grow and allow enough space for the future.
- Is your proposed tree site in a dryer area or does it accumulate water?
- What is your sites soil like? Is it fertile? Or will you need compost or coco-fiber to amend it?
- Do you have good spacing so your new trees limbs won’t become entangled in existing trees?
TIPS: Here are a few ‘Green Thumb’ rules regarding planting fruit trees.
- Make sure that you allow 10-15 feet of growth space between trees
- Make sure that there are NO obstacles blocking your new trees from the sun.
- If you are planting near buildings allow 6 feet from the building.
- If you are planting near driveways or sidewalks allow 3 feet.
- For best results, plant your fruit trees where they will get at least 6 hours of continuous sunlight.
Now that you’ve got the timing right and know a bit more about successful positioning of your fruit trees, let’s dig into the actual planting process.
DIG YOUR HOLE
- The hole should be twice the width of your tree and twice the depth of the root ball.
- Place soil amendment in bottom of hole.
- Your graft should be 2 to 3 inches above ground level.
- Make sure your graft is straight up and down.
- Place soil around root ball making sure not to leave any air pockets.
- Once your tree is set, prune (if it hasn’t been pre-pruned) and water well.
Good To Know
Once a week is a good rule. Water your tree until the soil becomes moist to a depth of 3 to 4 feet.
Fertilize your fruit tree once a year in the spring, prior to the tree putting on new growth. Spread your fertilizer approximately 2 feet from the tree in a circle. Water immediately after fertilizing. For best results use one 10 pound bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer for the first year and add one 10 pound bag to that for every year of growth.
WEEDS & PESTS
Keep your fruit tree free of weeds. Not only do weeds steal nutrients from your tree but they harbor pests that can harm your tree.
PICK UP FALLEN FRUIT
When your tree begins to fruit, don’t let fallen fruit accumulate around the base of the tree. This is a direct invitation to pests and disease.
ITEMS YOU MAY NEED:
- 10-10-10 Fertilizer
- Pruning Shears
- Copper Spray
- Insecticidal Soap