Adding a fruit tree to your landscape is a very rewarding endeavor but you need to be aware of the care it requires.
Here are some tips to make your planting successful!
- NOW is the time to plant. The colder and wetter the better.
- First you need to dig the hole about twice the size of the root ball. This way you will be sure to have nice loose soil for the new roots to grow into. Be sure to dig the hole deeper than needed as well.
- Next, you want fill the hole with water and let it soak in. This make take some time.
- Now take some potting soil and put in the bottom of the hole so that when the tree is installed, it is above the ground about a half an inch. Be sure to pack the soil good, so it doesn’t settle later.
- Now take the tree out of the container and slice the roots on the sides to encourage new growth in the spring.
- Put the tree in the hole and make sure the root ball is about a half inch above ground.
- Use good rich soil to fill in around the tree. Don’t use the bag soil that is light and fluffy, it won’t hold the tree. Use good heavy potting soil that you can pack.
- Fill the hole all the way to the top of the root ball but not covering it. It will be sloped away just a bit. Make sure to pack the soil well so the tree will be stable and not have air pockets around the root ball.
- Take the old soil that you dug out and use it to build a large saucer around the whole thing. Make the saucer a little larger than the hole you dug. The sides should be 4 or 5 inches tall when you are done and sloping to the root ball. Again… Be sure not to cover the root ball.
- Now sprinkle a couple of handfuls of fruit tree fertilizer around the saucer taking care not to get it on the exposed root ball. You just want it around the tree, inside the
- Next you want to stabilize the tree by driving three steaks around it, outside of the area you dug. You will need some small rope or wire and some old garden hose to tie the tree off. Cut three pieces of old garden hose about a foot long and run the rope or wire through it. You will go from the steak, through the hose, around the tree and back to the steak. Use the hose to protect the tree from the wire or rope. It will cut into and damage the bark if you don’t. Be sure to remove this after the first growing season.
- And last but not least, water your new tree in. Lay the hose in the saucer and let it gently fill up, taking care not to run the hose too fast, as it may create a hole. Fill the saucer a few times and you’re done!
In the coming weeks, I will make a follow up post on keeping pests from damaging your new tree.
Good luck to all of you who signed up for our new community and made a comment to win the tree next week!