In this article I will tell you everything you need to know about How To Plant Fruit Trees? Choosing the right fruit trees, the right varieties for an orchard and some planning tips if you want to grow a variety of fruit trees. A woman crouches down to plant a fruit tree with the mountains in the background. She loves her vegetable garden and the beauty of a plant that can be harvested for many years to come. Late winter and early spring are the best time to plant fruit trees and shrubs.
This means fresh, ripe fruit from vines, trees and shrubs. Having sources of fruit on your own farm is a big step towards self-sufficiency and reducing food costs. Make jams, jellies and syrups, and everything is free. That’s exciting stuff, or at least a little too high.
Growing Fruit Trees From Seed
So to make sure I get exactly the kind of fruit I want, I like to start with some unripe, root-bare fruit trees. For this reason, I do not like to grow my fruit trees from seeds, because you have to add many years before they bear fruit, as a bare root tree that can be bought in a nursery that is 2-3 years old. The reason for this is that depending on the variety of fruit tree you plant from seed, you may not get the same variety. Knowing how many plants per person you need to plant is easy with a worksheet or chart.
When to Plant Fruit Trees
A woman crouches down to plant a fruit tree, the first to be planted in the ground.
Planting in late winter or early spring is the best time to get the new fruit tree into the ground. A good rule of thumb is to check with the local nurseries in your area. If the ground is not too frozen, dig a hole and you are good to go. Naked rhizomes can be planted in winter, raspberries and blueberries in spring.
As soon as they have bare roots on the fruit tree or other fruit plants, it is time to start planting. Their goal with fruit trees planted in the ground is to perform a root shock transplant to begin rooting, so that their root system is less burdened during the summer, when the work of growing leaves and fruits begins.
Where to Get Good Fruit Stock
You have a few ways to find a good stock of fruit. It is best to go to a local nursery, not to the garden department of a large shop, but to a truly independent nursery.
You can inspect the stock, how it is grown in your region, adapted to your weather and which varieties are best suited to your location. In many nurseries you can arrange a meeting with an experienced staff to select the best varieties according to your needs.
How To Plant Fruit Trees
We do not have a local nursery, but fruit trees are my preferred online source of healthy plants, and I ordered all my elderflower and strawberry plants online and received five of them, and all were packaged and healthy. Ive also had decent luck with fruit trees at Costco, as they work with regional nurseries and growers.
When you buy and plant root-bare fruit trees, they are often underexposed and without flowers, so it can be difficult to tell if the tree is healthy. This is the cheapest way, and most nurseries have them on offer in winter, so they should be planted at this time.
I am looking for trees with well-balanced limbs, solid scaffolding and without cracks or scratched limbs on the trunk. Also when buying root-bare or in stock fruit trees one has to pay attention to branches and scaffolding. Make sure they are separated from each other and not on top of each other.
If you have a friend with a good raspberry bed, ask if you can get a few canes (the branches that are part of the bush) to make your own bed. It will take a few years and your own canes will need some thinning, but we got our raspberries right away. There was an overgrown patch on my aunts “property, so we transplanted a whole row into our garden in the spring. Raspberries send out runners when you dig them up.
How to Plant Fruit Trees Digging a Hole
If you are planning to move an established fruit tree or plant, or plant a bare root or pot tree, be sure to dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep.
Filling the Hole
Keep the level of dirt at the same level as in the nursery. You should see a line from the trunk of the tree to the bush. If the roots break off, remove them from the plant. There should be a hole in the loose dirt and a layer of compost.
As soon as the soil settles, you should be able to see where you need to add more dirt. Use a small amount of water. Create a splinter at the base of the tree so that water can filter through the roots and flow into the surrounding soil and soil.
In the winter months do not water. In the first summers you should water the plants about once a week if it does not rain. In late spring, when leaves and soil become dry, pour about 5 to 10 gallons per week.
Note that it takes an average of seven years before you can harvest a sizable harvest from your fruit trees. I neglected one of our new apple trees and lost it. In the rainy Pacific Northwest, follow the rule of watering once a week and planting the trees if there is no moisture falling from the sky.
Most bare rootstocks are only a few years old, but you can ask the nursery for more details. Bigger, older stocks are the more expensive. Learn how to plant berry bushes here. Raspberry will produce the following year, the same year falling raspberries are born, and some varieties can be planted in the spring, but blueberries need a few years.
Picking Your Variety of Fruit
The most important thing to consider when planting your fruit trees is to be sure that you pick self-pollinating fruit trees or buy two varieties that cross. Crab apples are cross-pollinated apple trees because they bloom longer than normal apples, allowing them to pollinate earlier than mid to late season apples. Although crab apples can be sour, you should never make the mistake of biting into one, as they are a high natural source of pectin, which helps you get a nice set for your jams and jellies.
Some apple varieties ripen earlier in the season. If you live in a zone with early frosts or a short growing season, you will want to pick ripening varieties.
You can buy fruit cocktail trees in several varieties that can be grafted to a stock. We have not had much luck with this, because the grafting branches die within one to two years after the main stock of the trees has decreased.
Some fruits pollinate themselves, and large harvests can be achieved when cross pollinators are nearby. My favourite apple is the heirloom Gravenstein, because it is sterile and does not pollinate, but we also like crab apples, gala and honey crackers.
The best fruit trees for small areas are dwarf and half-dwarf varieties. If necessary, I will help you to choose the right fruit tree for your area.
Self-Pollinating vs. Cross-Pollinating Fruits
Here is a list to keep in mind, but wherever you buy your tree, you should be able to find out which variety you are buying. As already mentioned, you want to be sure that your fruit trees not only pollinate themselves, but also that there are no cross pollinating varieties.
Most berries and European plums are better off if the European plum variety has another variety to cross with.
Bonus: Use the same tips for planting filberts or hazelnut trees as here (e.g.
Fruit Trees for Small Spaces
If you do not have a large yard or land, you can still plant fruit trees. Like blueberries, berry bushes are also good for pots. Fruit trees can also be grown in containers.