PLANTING & CARE OF FRUIT TREES
If planting cannot be done immediately, fruit trees should be stored in a cool area for up to two weeks. Do not store trees in a closed area with fruit because Ethylene gas emitted by fruit will kill trees. Keep roots moist by spraying with water as needed. If planting will be delayed further, trees should be ‘heeled in’ by planting temporarily in loose soil as soon as possible. See general “Tree & Shrub Planting Guide” for more information. Learning about fruit tree care is essential for any gardener wishing to produce healthy, quality fruit. Fruit tree care can be very complex and intricate at times. While consulting a professional is often the best course of action to resolve any serious fruit tree problems, knowing a few basics about fruit tree care can save you money and give you the satisfaction of caring for your own orchard.
CHOOSE AND PREPARE
Select a site with direct sunlight, and full sun all day for best fruit production. Don’t plant in shady locations that don’t get at least half a day of full, direct sun light or you can expect weak, spindly trees, poor foliage, and poor fruit set. Allow enough room between the planting site and
buildings, trees, power lines or other obstructions to allow tree to fill its space when full grown. For cross-pollination, plant trees within 50 feet of one another. Fruit trees are happy in well-drained soil. Check that there is not too much clay and that water soaks into the soil. Trees should be spaced at least 15-20 feet apart.
If you are planting on a lawn, remove the grass in a circle three feet in diameter at each tree site. If soil conditions are dry, water your locations first.