How to plant fruit trees

Fruit trees are amazingly easy to grow on the backyard. In the spring they will delight you with beautiful flowers, and then - an abundance of fruit. Apple trees, peaches, plums and pears - all these trees grow well in different climatic conditions. When making your choice, consult a fruit nursery whether the fruit tree of your choice will suit the conditions of the area in which you live. Read this article to learn how to plant fruit trees so that they successfully bear fruit for many years to come.


Choosing a landing site

  • Buy a fruit tree with an open root system. Fruit with good taste - sweet apples, plums, pears, etc. - give the grafted trees. Although fruit trees can be grown from seeds, such trees do not necessarily produce fruit suitable for food. To make sure that the tree you chose will bear fruit with good taste, it is best to buy a fruit tree with open roots, a very young and already grafted tree. You can purchase a seedling with an open root system in the nursery at the end of winter. Buying in a local nursery will be the best choice, because there you buy a tree that will successfully grow in your area. A tree with an open root system should be planted as soon as possible after purchase.
  • Choose an open sunny spot on your plot. Fruit trees usually need at least 6 hours in full sun to produce full fruit. Find a place on a plot where the fruit tree will not be shaded by a house or other, taller trees. There should be no other vegetation near the fruit tree that would compete with it for nutrients and water. When choosing the location of the fruit tree, you must imagine it in an adult state. Imagining the width of its crown, note that the roots of a tree extend to the same length as the branches. It follows that it is not necessary to plant a tree too close to a building or road.
  • Check the drainage capacity of the soil at the intended site. In addition to the sun, good soil drainage is the second essential condition for the prosperity of fruit trees. Water in the soil should not stagnate, because from this the roots of fruit trees will rot in the ground. Check for soil drainage, dig a hole 1 foot deep and fill it with water. If water is absorbed into the soil quickly, the place is perfect for planting fruit trees. If the water stagnates, choose another place. If you have heavy clay soil on the site, which leads to insufficient drainage, the tree can still be planted if you use certain methods. For example, you can plant a fruit tree on a raised bed or loosen the clay by mixing it with compost, which will help improve drainage.

Digging and soil preparation

  • Start preparing for planting in the spring. Although fruit trees can be planted at any time of the year, still in areas with cold winters it is better to do this in spring. Then the tree will immediately begin to adapt to the soil and grow roots. Spring is also the best time to dig the soil, because at this time the earth was already thawed and became soft.
  • Add compost to the soil if necessary. If you have heavy clay soil or heavy compacted soil, it is a good idea to dig it to a depth of at least 2 feet and bring in some amount of compost. This will make the soil looser, provide better drainage and create more favorable conditions for root growth. Use a garden spade or cultivator to dig up and loosen the soil, then add compost and mix it with the ground.
  • Dig a wide hole. With a shovel, dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter of the roots of the tree you are planting. The roots of fruit trees usually grow in the direction from the trunk, so you will create enough room for them to grow. Make sure the roots are surrounded by loose soil, not compacted soil, which will limit their growth. At the same time, it is important to dig a not too deep hole. Since you are working with a grafted tree, it is important that the graft located at the base of the tree trunk is above the soil level. If you plant more than one tree, plant them at least 18 inches apart. The more space you give them, the better.
  • When planting fruit trees, follow the instructions for soil improvement. Depending on the type of tree and soil condition, you can add organic nutrients to the planting pit. In some cases, you only need to pour compost to the bottom of the planting pit. Consult in the fruit nursery regarding the possibilities and the need to improve the soil. In some cases, you may not have to correct and improve the soil, because the existing soil is rich in nutrients. Do not add compost and other nutrients if you are not advised. Once the roots grow outside the improved soil, they will have to survive on the naturally available nutrients. Therefore, in the end, the very rich soil in which they fall upon planting will not bring the expected benefits.
  • Set the tree in the planting pit. Place loose soil about the length of a finger into a hole to form a hill. Place the fruit tree with its roots on the hill, straighten the roots and make sure that the grafting site at the base of the tree trunk is located above ground level. Adjust the position of the tree by adding or removing soil from the slide. Check if all the roots are in the ground. If there are roots in / above the grafting site, cut off these roots and check again that the graft site is above ground. If the roots from the grafting site reach the soil, the tree will always give growth to its weakening.
  • Ram the soil around the roots. Fill the hollows around the roots of the tree with nutrient soil and ensure that the roots are completely covered with earth. Stand back and check if the tree is standing vertically. Carefully tamp the soil.
  • Water the roots. Fully water the planting area so that the soil fills all voids around the roots of the tree. Sprinkle the ground, carefully tamp it and pour it again. Continue this process until the soil at the planting site is level with the ground level on the plot. Do not overflow, if the roots of the tree are flooded, they will begin to rot.

Fruit tree care

  • Decide on pruning. If you want fruit-bearing branches to grow low above the ground, cut the tree to the height of the knee and reduce the side branches to one or two buds. This will direct the energy of the tree to the growth of low side branches. If you prefer that the tree does not have low branches, cut the branches that are low from the ground.
  • Control the weeds. In order for the tree to grow strong and healthy, and its roots are protected, we must regularly weed the area around it. Do the weeding by hand without using herbicides.
  • No need to over-water the tree. The soil should not be wet all the time, as this can lead to rotting of the roots. Let it feed rainwater. If a week has passed without rain, water the tree well, but after that let the soil dry.

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