Growing Fruit Trees in the Home Garden

| 12/29/2017 11:38:00 AM

growing fruit trees

An old proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.” I think this little pearl of wisdom is especially true when it comes to fruit trees.

It’s too easy to put off buying and planting trees. They can be expensive and there’s always so much else to do. When thinking about fruit trees, it’s also easy to twist one’s logic: “It might be seven years before I’d get fruit, so why bother?” But guess what. You’ll be waiting a whole lot longer if you never plant those trees.

Here’s my advice for selecting and growing fruit trees.

Don’t Put It Off

The sooner you plant your fruit trees, the sooner they’ll produce. Since it’s going to take a minimum of two years (for some apple varieties) to five or more (cherries or pawpaws), it’s never too soon to get started. If a fruit tree is more than your budget can bear, you might consider suggesting a tree—or a gift certificate to a reputable nursery that stocks them—as a gift idea.

Do Your Research

Some trees are self-pollinating (most nectarines, peaches, sour cherries). Others require another variety of the same fruit to pollinate (most apples, pears, plums). It’s best to plant cross-pollinators no more than fifty feet away. If you’re lucky, a near neighbor has planted a good cross-pollinator close by. Timing is everything when it comes to pollination: be sure the trees you purchase for cross-pollination bloom at the same time of year.

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