View Full Version : Fruit Trees
Jul. 4, 2012, 09:18 PM
My local home depot has their fruit trees at 75% off. I am thinking that's a good deal but I am wondering if it's too late in the season to plant them or if they would be better off staying in the cans until they are dormant in the winter,then planting.
I am also wondering if any type needs to be planted in pairs to be happy.
I have No delusions of fruit for this year but am hoping for a decent yield next year.
any plant gurus ?
Jul. 5, 2012, 12:10 AM
You're not going to get any fruit for several years from most fruit trees. For more info on whether of not they need another as a pollinator, just google the variety.
Being the cheapskate that I am, I've bought several leftover and reject tree-lings, planted them at less than optimal times, and totally neglected them. They've all thrived- even the formerly scraggly tulip poplar that's planted in the middle of what used to be a well-compacted gravel driveway. At 75% off, I'd take the chance.
Jul. 5, 2012, 03:53 AM
not knowing where you are I'd say that if you get them it is best to keep them in the pots til fall when things cool off. Planting is stressful for the trees and having heat etc is not helping.
But to ask somebody local. The details vary depending whether you have cold winters or not.
Jul. 5, 2012, 07:54 AM
My husband got me two peach trees that were on their way to the garbage at a nursery- not only did the bear fruit the very next year- they were the most delicious peaches ever. They lived about 8 years. I miss them.
You will need to water them daily, if not twice a day, for most of the rest of the Summer, and then slowly taper off your watering.
IME, trees from HD/Lowes are TERRIBLE in the root dept, and many of them die despite the best of care.
Unfortunately, most places like that don't have those trees in the Fall :( :(
At that price, it's probably worth giving it a try. Just dig a good hole, fill with good dirt that drains decently but still maintains decent moisture content, rough up the roots when you plant it, mulch heavily (stay off the trunk), water daily, and pray
Jul. 5, 2012, 10:22 AM
It's worth buying and planting at this time of year, particularly with that kind of savings. Don't hold hope for fruit for a couple of years at the least. BTW, ideal planting time for fruit trees is early spring and late summer to freeze up. The only time not recommended is usual fruiting time.....but that really doesn't apply to caliper stock.
Just sink them in as usual, water well, and keep an eye on them. Deep water when needed and around the dripline as you want those roots to reach out and take hold. Fertilise as recommended.
IF you live where there is real winter, freeze them in: when the leaves fall and the temps drop, saturate the soil and let nature take its course. Half of die off is caused by improper wintering of young tree stock. They are harder to take care of potted up over winter but it can be done provided the rootball is a mass of muddy ice and you can cover the WHOLE tree, better than halfway up the trunk with snow.
Jul. 5, 2012, 10:35 AM
I would get them for the savings, but put them into the ground in one size larger pots, close to the water supply, and water regularly. Then in fall, I would plant them at their final destination, mulch heavily but not touching the bark. Fall should have regular rains, but water deeply once a week if no rain and more often if REALLY HOT like now.
Pot sunk into dirt to the top edge, mulch over it, doesn't dry out like when the pot can get sunshine on it all day. Trees or any plant, does LOTS better with the pot sunk into the dirt, needs much less watering in most cases, so a time saver.
I haul water right now, to the fence trees I am cultivationg as future shade for the horses. Muck tub full is a good amount for a 6ft tree. Couple buckets equals 5 gallons, so works for the small trees I grew from seed or nuts. Siphon hose or smaller bucket, gets the water where you want it on the tree. Mulch keeps the sun from drying the dirt out so fast. Used sawdust bedding is GREAT mulch, laid at least 3" deep so the rain or hose won't wash it away.
I am not a fan of HD type trees because they are so common and over used, but for the price it could be a great deal. Common trees can be popular because they ARE RELIABLE. I want diversity, no mono-culture of trees here! With care, the HD trees can be very successful for you. Do check which kind need pollination, so you need to purchase two. Planting trees and getting a food crop is a rewarding feeling. Flowers are nice even if you get no fruit.
Jul. 5, 2012, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the info I am going to go look through them and see which look most healthy. I will likely keep them potted until summer heat is over but I will consider swapping them into larger pots or much buckets. We done get much snow so maybe I can transplant in fall/winter when they are fairly dormant. Hope to get a couple plums and a couple peaches. We don't get cold enough for apples (but they do have apple trees)
Jul. 5, 2012, 11:13 AM
It really won't hurt to sink them now. In the heat that blankets most of the continent, keeping them potted is going to create a huge amount of work to keep them watered, as they may need watering as early as possible in the morning, several times a day and a late night watering. In the ground, they will only need deep watering every few days.
Forgot to add this: those trees will likely be in a soilless mix of tree bark, wood chips and peat moss, not conducive to holding water, and if they are in that, they damned near need to be on a drip line to keep the roots damp. Even the best river sand/loam mix from Bailey's does't hold a lot of water, and will need several waterings a day
Jul. 5, 2012, 03:00 PM
This is far from the ideal time to plant fruit trees or berry bushes, but if the price is right and your expectations low, you could give it a try. You will just have to work VERY hard to baby those trees through the summer, especially in the heat most of us are having and never expect much from them. When it comes down to it, the wise thing to do is prepare your site well now and purchase and plant a dormant tree at the appropriate time for your location. Three years from now it will be a much better tree than that bargain special you pick up now.
The best time to plant fruiting plants is when they are dormant, preferably early in the spring. (In some long growing season areas with mild winters you can also dormant plant in late fall.) The reason for this is that roots develop in cool temperatures and shoots develop as it get warmer. It is important to get as much root development as early in a tree's life as possible if you expect top quality fruit production. Otherwise the roots are never fully able to support the shoot and fruit growth.
Unfortunately most potted fruit trees from big box stores are badly root bound and not likely to ever develop optimal roots. You'll never know because you will never see the production you didn't get. Your tree may just be small or unthrifty and you may spend years wondering why it's not doing well regardless of how hard you try. Leaving it in a dark pot where the roots will roast no matter how well you water it will also not lead to desirable results.
There is much more to this. A whole book could be written on the subject. (Actually I did write an award winning one, but don't want to run amuck of the rules here. Google backyard fruit gardening and you'll find more info as well as my site.)
Fruit that are self-fruitful, that is need no "companion" for cross pollination, include tart cherry, apricot, peach and nectarine.
Those needing cross pollination for best fruit set and development are apple, pear, sweet cherry, and plum, with only a few variety exceptions. Make sure your cross pollinator is a different variety and that the 2 or more varieties flower together at the same time (say Gala and Golden Delicious apple.) Japanese plum types need another Japanese plum for pollination and European varieties need another of European breeding.
Good luck and fruitful gardening!
Aug. 24, 2012, 10:36 AM
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