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Time to Plant Fruit Trees

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Mar 06, 2017
time to plant fruit trees

Carrying on from last week’s article, where we looked at planting and caring for summer fruit bushes, I thought I would stay on a similar enough topic this week and talk about fruit trees. 

Over the last few weeks in CountryLife we have taken delivery of a wide range of different fruit trees that are all ready to be planted in to people’s gardens. Just like fruit bushes now is the perfect time to be thinking about planting some new fruit trees in your garden. 

Planting fruit trees now in early spring will allow the tree to start establishing just as the growing season kicks off. The soil is beginning to warm up and is also moist meaning the roots can easily penetrate the ground and help to anchor the tree in to position. 

When it comes to adding a fruit tree to your garden the first thing I always tell customers is that they won’t just be buying one tree. They will have to buy at least one other tree if they ever want to be able to pick fruit in their garden. New gardeners often don’t realise that they will need to have another fruit tree in the garden (that flower at the same time) so that the trees can be cross-pollinated and produce fruit. 

Those who are worried about not having the space for an entire orchard in their garden need not worry. You can now get a great number of dwarf fruit trees which don’t take up as much space as traditional fruit trees. You can also get specially cultivated ‘small garden’ apple trees which have two or three different apple varieties grafted on to the same tree trunk. On these types of tree the varieties used are often carefully paired together so that they can pollinate each other.

No matter what type of fruit tree you decide to grow in your garden the principles of planting them are the exact same. You want to find a spot in the garden that is bright and open but also protected from strong winds that could potentially damage or knock off your fruit.  When I am planting fruit trees I like to dig a hole that is about three times the size of the tree’s root system. 

Doing this gives you lots of space to work in farmyard manure which will help give the tree a good start and it also breaks up the surrounding ground making it easier for the trees root to grow out. 

With newly planted fruit trees it is important to have them securely staked into the ground until they are well established. In many cases people tend to keep them staked all the time and just adjust the tree tie as the trunk widens. If you are growing dwarf varieties I always recommend keeping these trees staked as they have shallower roots and can move in very strong winds. 

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at:

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

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