How to Plant and Care for New Fruit Trees


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cherries
Photo by Unsplash/Macu ic

Once you’ve invested in new fruit trees, you want to make sure you get them off to a good start. Every step from digging, planting, mulching, watering, staking and pruning is important to their long-term health and survival. You’ll be able to do a good job with your fruit trees by following these steps:

New fruit trees that arrive by mail are best left in their box, in a cool place, until you have time to plant them. Before planting, soak their roots in water at least an hour to overnight.

The best holes for fruit trees are dug to fit the diameter and shape of the individual tree’s roots. Never prune roots to fit the hole! The depth of each hole is determined by the graft line. This line is recognized by a change in bark color or by a diagonal scar in the bark. This graft line must remain just above soil level to prevent “suckers” that will continually need removing.

When digging the hole, mix the topsoil with deeper soil. The cardboard your tree arrived in can serve as a surface on which you place and mix soil. This mixture is then placed around the new fruit tree’s roots. Using just topsoil or lighter soil in a hole whose walls are made of clay allows water to sit around the roots and drown the new tree. Scoring the sides of the hole with the edge of a shovel will also help to keep water from collecting around the roots.



Hold your new fruit tree upright as you place soil around its roots, and then step on the ground around the fruit tree’s trunk to remove all air pockets. Fruit trees can be planted by one person, but it does help to have a helper holding the trunk to assure it stays upright and the graft line remains just above-ground.

steve
1/20/2021 8:29:33 AM

my thoughts are you didn't read all the above.and it doesn't have to be a fruit tree to benefit from the protection of sunscald. >>Another method of preventing sunscald is to simply paint the trunks of your fruit trees with white latex paint. Either one-half strength with water or full-strength white paint prevents the trunk’s bark from heating and then contracting with cooling. Some people find that full-strength latex paint is also effective for discouraging damage from mammals.


lawrenanne
1/19/2021 4:19:09 PM

My grandfather used to paint the bottom 3-4 feet of his fruit trees with lime, I think because it discourages insects, fungi, and rodents. Any thoughts on this practice?






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