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How to Plant Fruit Trees


Fruit trees grow best in full sun locations where the ground drains well. Most home gardeners will want to plant semi-dwarf fruit trees, these being about a third smaller than their standard counterparts. As semi-dwarf trees are smaller they will easier to pick the fruit from and easier to prune.

Some of the best types of trees to grow in our area are apple, pear, cherry and plum. Once you have decided on the type of tree, you need to decide how many trees you have room for. If you only want one tree, be sure to get a self-fertile tree. Otherwise, your tree will not reliably set fruit. Pollination can be complicated so be sure to take the time to discuss pollination when you purchase your trees. We will help you with that.

best apple tree for Campbell River, BC - Liberty Apples!

Peaches are a bit trickier to grow in our climate but can be grown against a south or west wall with an eave over them to keep rain off their leaves. The reason for this is because peaches are very susceptible to a fungal problem called 'Leaf Curl' on our wet west coast. Renton and Frost Peach are excellent varieties for our area because they are less susceptible to Leaf Curl but the excellent flavour of Redhaven makes it a common choice as well.

On the coast, November through March is the very best time for planting fruit trees except if the ground is frozen or we have snow. They are often offered bare-root (without a pot) at this time of year so you will need to plant them the same day you purchase them. I often like to recommend that the hole can be dug before the trees are purchased so that the planting is half done when you return with your new trees. Plant your trees with bonemeal for root growth over the next 24 months and some peat moss and compost or manure to improve the soil. With any bare root transplanting, you are doing a liquid application of Root Booster Fertilizer is recommended.

Your new trees will need plenty of water through the first year especially but will also require additional water through the first three summers. If you are planting November through February a deep watering at planting time and then resume watering at the beginning of April. Every two weeks is great but if we are having long dry spells you need to provide more water.

Note: Wilting leaves are never a good sign. A lot of gardeners feel it is just a signal to water but really it is a sign that the tree needed water (past tense).   It means that the tree was/is dry and dry roots leave the tree susceptible to transplant shock which can lead to your plant dying. If you see wilted leaves on any newly planted shrub or tree use a transplanter fertilize the same day (if at all possible) and provide shade and moist air.

You should not allow your new trees to produce fruit in the first summer, I know it is hard but it will give you a stronger tree in time. The second year you can let your tree have a small crop (less than 10) and by the third year, your new tree should be raring to go! You see, vision, patience, and planning, but then you will be picking and eating summer fruits in your own backyard with the envy of all your neighbours!

crate of plums                                                                                      

 ...grow your own incredible edibles!