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How to Plant Fruit Trees

Fresh fruit straight from the tree is so much tastier and not to mention more cost effective than buying from the supermarket. So what better than to plant and grow your own fruit trees in your garden.

grow fruit tree

You don’t necessarily need a lot of space. With modern varieties such as miniature patio fruit tree collections, you can grow multiple fruit trees in containers on a balcony or patio.

When to plant fruit trees

Our changing UK climate means increasingly the best time to plant trees is during autumn and winter when it is cool and moist. Springs can be dry and warm; establishing new plants at this time can be harder work than in autumn.

If you are thinking about how to plant fruit trees, it is also worth bearing in mind that they can be very decorative, especially as you can train them as fans against walls and trellises.

The most common fruiting tree to plant is an apple, but there are many others to choose from including pears, cherries and also plums. When planting apples and plums, check with your suppliers to see if the variety you have chosen needs a pollinating variety to be planted with it. Some varieties are also early or late cropping and may need a pollinator where flowering coincides with the blossoming time of your chosen variety.

Plant container-grown fruit trees at any time of year. However keep them indoors in the harsher weather. However, the best time to plant your fruit tree is late autumn to early winter as this is when the tree is in its dormant stage.

If you have decided to plant a fruit tree in the garden then it’s best to avoid doing so in the frost.

How to grow fruit trees

When planting trees, check pot-grown plants have enough water before putting them into the ground. This will help ensure they begin to establish well as soon as planted.

Making planting holes in winter is likely to be easy as the soil should be moist. Make sure you dig your hole a little deeper than the pot of the plant you are putting in the ground and three times the width, breaking up any compacted clods as well as removing stones and roots.

grow fruit trees

Place Tree and Shrub Planting and Potting Mix in the hole, which is a special mix for supporting a tree’s health. It also includes a 6 month slow release feed and added zinc complex. Zinc complex will help protect the tree and build its immunity to pest and diseases.

how to grow fruit trees

During planting, tease out plant roots if they are congested. Carefully position the plant in the hole and fill in the gaps with new compost. Firm down carefully, using your heal. This removes air spaces which can become waterlogged and ensures the plant is secure in the ground.

Caring for Fruit Trees

When planting trees, make sure you include a tree stake and attach the tree to it using a tree tie. This will prevent windrock and help the tree establish. In areas where rabbits are a problem, a tree guard may be needed.

round tree stake

Do not let newly planted trees dry out. Mulch around the tree every spring with organic material, again Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure is great for this job.

Even in winter, make sure you water anything you have just planted. This will help settle the soil around the roots and allow the plant to establish quickly. But do not plant or water in times of harsh frost or snow as this can be damaging for the plant. Watering cans like the Flopro Can-Can are great for watering trees as with a simple flip top action, the rose can quickly be converted to a fast fill pouring spout.

watering fruit trees can-can

When your trees are growing it is important to keep providing nutrients. Westland Buxus Feed & Protect will provide extra calcium and sulphur for greener, healthier foliage.

Harvesting and Storing

Fruit should be picked as it ripens, which is usually when the fruit comes away easily with a quick twist. Use a telescopic fruit picker to easily grab that tasty fruit in hard to reach areas.

Some tree fruit stores better than others. In general apples and pears store well in a dark cool place. Only store unblemished fruit. Freezing is appropriate for apples and pears when cooked and pureed. However apples can be frozen when peeled and sliced without any ill effects. Cherries and plums can be frozen or bottled but should be stoned first.

Pest and Diseases

There are always going to be a few pesky parasites wanting to join in on the fun. A wide range of pests and diseases can affect all fruit trees. Birds, wasps and the codling moth are three of the most common pests.

Some common diseases found are Scab, which affects leaves and fruit of the plant. Canker can lead to problems within the bark and branches. Bitter pit is a physiological disorder and the cause is a lack of calcium in the soil.

Growing Success have a range of pest and disease protecting products that will help protect the fruit on your trees. Winter Tree Wash will help control most insects from your trees. It will also eradicate the eggs to therefore prevent infestation when the season begins. There are also a selection of Apple and Plum Maggot Monitoring Traps which will help to attract and collect moths to prevent damage to apple and plum trees. Glue Band Traps will prevent female moths from climbing trees and laying eggs on them.

growing success winter tree wash

Find out more about the Growing Success range. 

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