One of the main reasons why so many people choose not to plant fruit trees is the assumption that it will be years or even decades before they reach fruition. Which may be true, but every day, week, month or year you delay planting a fruit tree means delaying the results you could soon be enjoying. Not only this, but when you pick up a young tree from a nursery you can rely on, you might be surprised just how quickly it begins bearing fruit.
In fact, there are some that could be delivering outstanding results almost as soon as you set them in place at home.
Recently, we published a piece detailing five of the easiest fruit trees to grow right here in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the important thing to remember is that while trees might not run around the garden or even move a great deal, they are still highly sensitive and responsive living organisms. Put simply, absolutely everything you do and don’t do when it comes to cultivating fruit trees at home will have a marked impact on the kinds of results you can expect.
As with most things, the key lies in knowing exactly what you are dealing with and being willing to do your homework, before getting started.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of 10 simple yet highly important care and maintenance tips that apply to pretty much any fruit trees you may wish to grow home:
- First of all, while it may be tempting to start out with a relatively mature tree, most experts advise against doing so. The reason being that the tree may already have developmental issues that you will have little to no control over. Instead, take a mitre that is between two and three years old, which in the case of apricots, peaches and apples should result in cropping the next year.
- In some respects, it is a good idea to think of your young fruit trees like you would of youngsters in general. Accept the fact that they are probably going to grow and stretch out far more quickly and extensively than you expect, making sure they have more than enough room to manoeuvre and do their thing.
- Given the fact that trees depend on sunlight to produce the energy they need to grow and thrive, it’s critically important to situate your trees in a position where they get as much sunlight as possible. Absolutely any shade to any extent at any time of the day will have an impact on the tree’s yield quality.
- In a similar vein, the soil in which you plant the tree will represent its home and an important food source for the entirety of its life. The soil needs to be of the most outstanding quality possible, packed with nutrients and well aerated. It is important to be proactive and to test soil quality, before deciding exactly where to plant your fruit trees.
- An important point to be aware of at all times is that stagnant water represents an impressively effective killer of fruit trees. If at any time it becomes apparent that the surface of the soil and/or the soil beneath has become waterlogged, you need to take action to both remove the water and prevent it from happening again particularly during the winter months.
- During the warmer months of the year, younger fruit trees will require somewhere in the region of 10 l to 15 l of water per week. This should be seen as something of a minimum particularly when going through periods of excessive heat and dryness.
- Throughout the spring and the summer when your tree is going through its growth phase, the leaves should generally be a deep and healthy green colour. If they are, this more often than not means that your tree’s doing fine. If they happen to be a different colour, this could represent your tree crying for help and in need of urgent attention.
- Contrary to widespread assumption, you should only ever transplant trees during the depths of winter when they are dormant. Transplanting at any other time of year can lead to a potentially fatal transplant shock.
- Keep a close eye on the soil around the trunk of the tree to an area of approximately one square metre. Be sure to keep this area as free of all weeds and grass as possible.
- Last but not least, try to think ahead of time exactly what you are going to do with the extraordinary abundance of fruit you will sooner or later be presented with. There’s absolutely nothing more tragic than the vast majority of succulent organic fruit from a carefully grown tree simply being allowed to go to waste.