Bare Root Fruit Trees Arrive
Since they are bare root, they will not have any leaves or foliage, and the roots must be kept moist until you are able to plant them. This is the best time of year to plant these trees, since they’ll have another couple months of cool, rainy weather to get established before the heat of summer.
Note: If you preordered your trees, they will be held for you under your name until you come to pick them up.
Evelyn’s Tips on Backyard Fruit Tree Care and Maintenance
Tip Begin with the right variety.
Because you live on our warm coastal area choose low chill fruit trees. What is Low Chill? It’s the number of winter hours of under 45 that your tree needs to produce fruit. For all that information, plus pruning and planting go to davewilson.com and Davewilson-utubes. Easy to understand with real practical help.
Small garden? Choose a multi variety on one tree or some of the dwarf varieties.
Training tip Cut your tree back when you buy it.
The training for a successful back yard fruit trees begins at the time when you buy your tree. If you want your tree to be short so you, not the birds enjoy the fruit cut it back when you purchase it. Cut it back to about 4 feet. You just bought a tree that is 6 feet high and we want you to cut off almost half? It’s scary but trust me, it will get leaves and branches and your tree will be short enough for easy picking.
Tip Plant it right
Check for drainage before you plant. Dig a hole 1 to 2 feet deep where you plan to put your fruit tree. Fill it with water, see how long it takes to drain and then fill it again. If it takes longer than three hours your drainage is not good enough. Make a raised bed, or an above ground box.
Choose a sunny spot
Plenty of sun gives good flavor fruit. Plant in good slightly amended soil so that the bud is at least several inches above the ground. The bud is that big bump near the roots and looks like this. What grows above the bud will give you good fruit. Any growth below the bud needs to be removed, watch and remove this growth all year long.
Make your watering count.
Make a well or build a berm around it to be sure the water goes where it is supposed to go. You can mix in a cupful of any good organic or traditional fertilizer into your planting soil. It’s important the first summer not to let your trees dry out. Water at least every week if the summer is hot. Next year a monthly deep watering will do. If you planted your tree right this watering schedule is well within the drought guidelines.
After your tree is well settled in then you can begin to feed every other month until late August.
Key to a short tree.
Remove any branches that grow on the main trunk lower than two feet. This is forming that short trunk. Ideally your trunk should end up about 3 feet high with the fruiting branches growing above that. Check out these photos of Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery. The first two show the fruit tree before and after pruning. The third photo is one year later, with full bushy branches no higher than Tom’s chest.
Hint. You want your tree structure to end with 3 to 4 of the strongest branches shaped upwards like a vase. As you prune and shape you will be making those choices and taking off any little branches or branches that go straight out
OK you already have your trees. If you have older fruit trees right now it’s time prune. Clean up first, then spray with horticultural oil spray. Add in good copper spray if you had peach leaf curl last summer. It’s too late to spray in the summer.
Here is the challenge this rainy winter. Ideally you want several dry days after spraying,
Sunny dry period? Get out and spray!
A trained tree is a happy tree.
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