Fruit trees, as the name implies are the trees that bear fruits, some of which are fit to be consumed by humans and animals. Growing fruit trees can be a really rewarding experience, as you would be able to enjoy those delicious fruits for years to come.
Before Planting the Tree
Before planting a fruit tree, you have to consider the space available in your yard. If you do not have much space, it is better to go for the dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of the tree. You can go for the standard variety, if your yard has enough space to accommodate a large tree.
The other important point to be considered is the type of soil the tree prefers. It depends on the particular type of fruit tree. For example, the apple tree prefers dry soil, while plum trees grow well in damp soil. So, it is better to do some preliminary research on the different types of fruit trees, and their specific needs. However, most of these trees can tolerate a wide range of soil types, provided the soil is well-drained.
How to Plant
Once you have decided about the size of the tree and the soil type, it is time to plant it in your yard. However, do not forget to soak the root before planting. Now, dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate the root ball of the tree. Usually, the hole should be a bit wider than the size of the root ball, and deep enough to completely cover the roots. The depth of the planting hole is very important, especially if you are planting a grafted fruit tree. For planting a grafted fruit tree, the hole should be deep enough to provide the required space for a growing root system.
After digging the hole, loosen the soil around it so that the tree can easily expand its roots. Put some soil at the bottom of the hole in order to make a mound at the center. Now, carefully place the root ball of the plant just on top of the mound. You have to take adequate care while planting the tree to make sure that the graft union or the graft line of the tree lies slightly above the ground level.
The graft line can be identified as a diagonal scar on the trunk, or as a lump located a few inches from the soil. After placing the tree in the hole, you can fill it up with soil. Be sure to pat or firm the soil around the tree gently and then water it, so as to settle the soil around the root.
Apply a layer of mulch or organic material like leaves around the base of the tree, as mulching helps retain moisture. However, be sure not to place mulch or leaves near the graft line of the tree. You can plant fruit trees in winter or spring. But if your area receives frost, then it is better to wait till early spring.
Fruit Tree Care
You have to take a lot of care to ensure the healthy growth of your fruit tree. Be sure to water your tree sufficiently following a few weeks after planting, and also during the dry season. To grow properly, the tree also needs some pruning. The best time for pruning is when the tree is in the dormant stage, i.e., during the late winter or early spring.
Once the tree has started growing properly, you can consider to apply a fertilizer. You can use either a chemical or an organic fertilizer for this purpose. Even mulching can help grow a healthy fruit tree. You can use plant leaves, lawn clippings, as well as hay for mulching the tree. It is also important to remove the suckers that may appear below the graft line of the tree.
As the fruiting season arrives, your tree would require some additional care and attention. For example, if the tree is producing too many fruits, they may not grow to the size of your expectation. In such a situation, you may need to thin or remove some of the fruits from the tree, in order to ensure the production of bigger and better fruits. Last but not the least, be sure to control the growth of the weeds to promote the healthy growth of your fruit tree.