How to Plant a Fruit Tree | Living the Country Life
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How to Plant a Fruit Tree

When planting your own orchard, make sure your green thumbs follow our 4 simple steps.
  • Getting Started

    Fruit trees need full sunlight, ample moisture, and well-drained soil. An east-facing slope is ideal because morning sunlight dries the leaves quickly to reduce foliar diseases. Avoid low spots, which can harbor pockets of frost in late spring. 

    You can plant potted or balled-and-burlapped fruit trees throughout the growing season. Bare-root trees should be planted while dormant. Keep in mind that while you can plant in fall, you may find a better tree selection in spring - both at your local nursery and through mail-order catalogs. 

    Date Published: September 15, 2017
    Date Updated: September 15, 2017
    Tags: Trees
  • Step 1: Put it in the Ground

    Dig a hole as deep as the tree's root ball and twice as wide. Position the tree so the graft union (a swollen area where stem is grafted to roots) is 2 inches above ground level. Remove the plastic pot from container-grown trees, and cut into the roots at four equidistant spots along the sides and at the bottom to keep roots from circling. With balled-and-burlapped trees, remove the wire cage or rope, then pull the burlap low around the root ball (it will disintegrate it it's not plastic). 

    Date Published: September 15, 2017
    Date Updated: September 15, 2017
    Tags: Trees
  • Step 2: Fill It In

    Backfill the hole with the excavated soil. Tamp gently to remove air pockets. Provide at least 5 gallons of water per week. A good way to deliver the water slowly is with a 5-gallon plastic bucket. Drill two small holes 6 inches apart near the bottom, and place the bucket by the tree's trunk. 

    Date Published: September 15, 2017
    Date Updated: September 15, 2017
    Tags: Trees
  • Step 3: Mulch

    Mulch beneath the tree, starting a couple inches from the trunk and reaching out to the drip line, or outer canopy. (If planting in fall, wait until after the first hard freeze before you apply mulch, so rodents don't take up residence in it for the winter.) Bank the mulch along the edges to create a basin to direct water to the roots. 

    Date Published: September 15, 2017
    Date Updated: September 15, 2017
    Tags: Trees
  • Step 4: Wrap It Up

    Protect the trunk from small animals with tree wrap. For deer protection, surround it with wire fencing or spray with a repellent following package directions. 

    Date Published: September 15, 2017
    Date Updated: September 15, 2017
    Tags: Trees

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