Fruit Trees In The Spring

Springtime is a great time to start getting outdoors and tend to your gardens. Whether you already have a fruit tree or planting one this season, knowing and understanding how to maintain your fruit tree is essential to its growing success. Here are some general fruit tree tips to use during the upcoming season.

Pre-Planning. Early spring is a great time to start planning. If you are ordering bare-root trees, make sure you order them early enough so delivery is in time for planting. Before your trees arrive, find a spot with adequate amounts of sunlight and good soil. Plant your tree immediately after delivery.

Purchasing a Tree. Many nurseries and local lawn and garden retailers sell fruit trees. It is important to check over the trunk before you choose your tree. Avoid trees with crooked trunks. When they are young, it is much easier for a tree to tip over in harsh winds so choose a tree with a straight and well-balanced trunk. Also, choose a tree with higher branches. Low branches make it harder to walk and mow under the tree. Overall, it is critical you select a tree with a healthy trunk and strong roots.

Planting. Be sure to wait until the soil is soft enough to dig up. Dig a hole wide enough to accommodate all the tree’s roots (generally 2-3 times as wide as the container or roots). While digging, keep in mind that a wider hole creates more space for the roots to grow. Make the hole deep enough that the buds of the tree are no more than 2 to 3 inches above the settled soil. Fill the hole back in with an enriched tree & shrub garden soil for optimal drainage, aeration, and added nutrients.

Pruning. The dormant season is a good time to prune your fruit trees. This common practice controls growth, removes dead or diseased branches, develops strong limbs, distributes sunlight evenly, and initiates new growth. Precise and correct pruning is what creates strong branches and trains them how to grow. For more pruning tips, check out our article: Pruning Trees.

Remove Mulch. It is important to protect your trees from the cold winter months. If you added mulch around your trees in the fall, now is the best time to remove the old mulch. Temperatures can still fluctuate in the early spring months; add a fresh batch of mulch to protect your trees from any unexpected frost. This will help keep the soil warm and guard the base from any harsh winds.

Fertilizing. With the growing season right around the corner, it is a good time to feed your trees and provide them with the essential nutrients they need in order to grow. Trees feed at different rates depending on the soil temperature. That’s why it is important to use a Specially Formulated Plant Food to ensure the tree is effectively receiving the proper nutrients.