Successfully planting and growing a variety of your favorite fruit trees will save time and money while providing the family with a fun way to enjoy healthy eating. Follow these instructions for all your fruit trees and you will enjoy productive harvests each season.
Choose a location with plenty of sunlight. Full sun is best for fruit trees. For certain fruit trees that require cross-pollination, plant within 50 feet of one another.
Dig your planting hole with enough space to allow the roots to lay naturally.
Place the tree into the hole making sure the bud union is 2 inches above the soil level (just above ground level for peach).
Fill in the soil in layers, tamping around the roots to ensure good soil contact and to remove any air pockets.
Immediately water your fruit tree to saturate the soil.
After settling, insure that the bud union is still 2 inches above soil level and adjust as necessary.
Water your tree to provide necessary hydration when rainfall is not adequate. For newly transplanted trees, water at least once each week during the first growing season with 3-4 gallons of water.
Prune back fruit trees planted in the fall during early spring. If your tree has no branches, cut back the tree itself to 32 inches. For fruit trees that have branches, remove scaffold branches below 18 inches. Trim the leader to 18 inches above the highest scaffold branch. If any limbs have narrow crotch angles growing parallel to the central leader, they should be removed. Scaffold branches should be pruned to 12 inches long.
Fertilizers containing nitrogen should be applied to newly transplanted fruit trees beginning 3-4 weeks after planting. Apply granular fertilizers with care, avoiding contact with the Fruit tree’s trunk. As a general guide, apply 4 oz. of 10-10-10 fertilizer at a distance of 2-3 feet from the base of the tree.
Pests and Diseases:
A natural remedy for the various pests that attack fruit trees is to use predators like ladybird beetles, ground beetles and praying mantis to keep the populations under control. Neem Oil is an natural, safe pesticide and can even treat some fungal infections as well. Insecticide sprays should only be used if pests become a problem beyond using these natural means of control. For various fruit tree diseases like bacterial canker or blight, use a copper spray when the tree is dormant.
Protect your fruit trees against the damage caused by rodents and other animals by adding a tree guard. You can use a circle of hardware cloth around the base of the tree as an effective guard.