Planting Fruit Trees
and How to Prune Fruit Trees - with Pictures
Planting Fruit Trees? Learn how to grow
fruit trees and see how to prune fruit trees for the first 4 years to
get maximum fruit. We tell you where and how to plant your trees and
the ideal growing conditions. See our other sections on pests and diseases of fruit trees,
and garden pests and photos for
What would summer be without those
delicious summer-kissed fruits? The apples, pears, peaches, plums and
cherries are all deciduous fruits that make delicious ciders, wines,
moonshine, jams, chutneys and preserves. So how do we plant these fruit
trees to ensure success?
First of all you need to have the right
climate, soil and plant fruit trees in the right position. Deciduous
trees do well in cool temperate climates that should not be gown in
late frost areas, as frosts in the spring can kill your saplings
quicker than you can imagine. If you live on the coast, your fruit
trees could be susceptible to fruit flies which are deadly for your
crop. It would be best here to make sure that you plant early-maturing
varieties to help avoid this problem.
Planting Fruit Trees:
Where to Plant
When planting your saplings out make
sure that they are in a spot where they get full sun and have good
drainage. Don't plant them too close to each other or to other trees so
that they get good air-circulation. Fruit trees aren't that fussy when
it comes to soil. However, if you prepare the holes first with some
well-rotted compost and farmyard manure and a handful of blood and
bone, your plants will thank you later on.
Planting Fruit Trees: When
Plant your deciduous
fruit trees in
winter, when they are in their dormant stage. The trees can either be
bought bare-rooted or as potted plants. If you buy bare-rooted trees
just make sure that you keep the sacking wet and don't allow the roots
to dry out.
Dig a hole large enough to take the
roots comfortably. I once got my husband to dig a hole for an oak tree
sapling 1m x 1m x 1m, which was we discovered afterwards, was far in
excess of the space that it needed. But I tell you! That little oak
tree never looked back!
When you place the tree into the hole
spread the roots out in a natural way. Make sure that the hole isn't
too deep so that the tree disappears into the abyss. The soil line
should come just below that of the nursery soil line, keeping the bud
union well above the soil line.
Back-fill the hole and firm the tree in
by firmly pressing the soil down around the tree with your foot. Fill
up with some more topsoil and water in well. To keep the moisture in
the soil mulch around the tree with either some bark, or some compost.
Do not place this against the trunk, but a couple of inches away, so as
not to encourage disease.
Planting Fruit Trees:
Ideal Growing Conditions
Fruit trees are great nitrogen feeders
and is the element most needed by your trees. I don't like using
chemical fertilizers. I usually apply either diluted nettle tea (1:10),
which has been steeped in a bucket for about a month, commercial
seaweed applications or diluted urine (1:10).
The nitrogen can be applied when needed
and annually in late winter and early spring. A surface mulch of
compost, old grass clippings and rotten animal manure will also help.
Pruning your Fruit Trees:
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Prune
Planting Fruit Trees: How to
Prune a One Year Old Fruit Tree
After planting, you need to know how to
prune your fruit trees. Cut back the young tree to about 80 cm high to
encourage the development of three main limbs. A vase shape is best for
most deciduous trees. Prune trees hard for the first few years to make
a sturdy framework and to shape the tree.
A one year old tree
with no side shoots tree should be pruned to a bud with two buds below
it at about 80 cm from the ground immediately after planting to produce
primary branches during the first growing season.
A one year old tree
with several side branches should have its main stem pruned back to
three or four strong shoots at 80 cm from the ground. Side shoots
should be shortened by two thirds of their length to an upward or
outward facing bud. Lower shoots should be removed flush with the stem.
During winter remove the shoots that are growing inward. This
allows for the sunlight to enter the center of the tree and helps to
encourage flowers and fruit.
Planting Fruit Trees: How to Prune a Two Year Old Fruit Tree
planting fruit trees that have grown for 2 years, remove
any lower shoots and prune between three and five of the best placed
shoots by half to an upwards or outwards facing bud to form what will
become the tree's main structural branches.
Remove any inwards facing
Planting Fruit Trees: How to Prune a Three Year Old
planting fruit trees that have grown for 3 years you will need to prune
leading shoots of branches
selected to extend the framework by half to a bud facing in the desired
four good laterals to fill the framework and shorten
these by a half. Prune any remaining laterals to four buds to form
Planting Fruit Trees: How to
Prune a Four Year Old Fruit Tree
The tree will have begun to fruit and
only limited formative pruning is now required. Shorten leaders by one
third and prune laterals not required to extend the framework to four
When the fruit trees are fully grown it
is important to remove all dead and diseased wood. Prune all deciduous
fruit trees, except for cherries, in winter. Cherries, on the other
hand, should only be pruned in spring just before they start getting
their first leaves.
I don't have time to go into details
here, but different kinds of fruit trees bear their fruit in different
ways. Therefore it is important to know this before you go pruning your
Distances Apart to Plant Fruit Trees
Different fruit trees have different shapes and spreading capabilities,
and therefore you will need to take this into consideration when
planning your fruit orchards.
You will also have take into consideration certain varieties and
whether you are planting dwarf fruit trees or standard fruit trees.
Dwarf on Doucin Stock
Dwarf on Paradise Stock
Recommended Fruit Tree Varieties
Blenheim, Chenango, Cortland, Delicious, Early Harvest, Early
Mackintosh, Esopus Spitzenberg, Fall Pippen, Fameuse, Golden Delicious,
Golden Russet, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Hubbardston, Jonathan,
Mackintosh, Northern Spy, Peck Pleasant, Porter, Primate, Rambo,
Roxbury Russet, St. Lawrence, Shiawassee, Williams, Winesap.
Alexis, Blenheim, Budd, Early Golden, Harris, Montgamet, Moorpark,
Peach, Royal, St. Ambroise.
Duke, Louis Philippe, Magnifique, May Duke, Olivet, Royal Duke, Reine
Early Richmond, English Morello, Large Montmorency, Ostheim, Wragg.
BOOKS ON PLANTING AND
PRUNING FRUIT TREES
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