Enjoy your fruit trees for beauty, flower & fruit by using the following instructions by the garden experts at Mori Gardens.
Fruit Tree Care
Each kind of fruit tree, even each variety (cultivar), has its own climatic adaptations and limitations.
For example, the Delicious apple does best in the warmest districts of Ontario, but McIntosh excels in the cooler apple-growing regions. In the coldest districts with a short growing season, Wealthy or even a hardier and earlier cultivar like ‘Yellow Transparent’, might be better off. Also, cultivars and rootstocks that are costly to grow on a commercial basis may be perfect for the home gardener with one or two trees. A peach tree growing well out of its climatic range may bear well for a number of years in a sheltered location.
SOIL MANAGEMENT AND NUTRITION
Usually there is little choice of site or soil type in home gardens. Fruit trees will grow well on a wide range of soil types if drainage is adequate. Tile under drains improves natural drainage. Ditching and elevating the fruit tree area above the ground level improves depth of rooting and water movement in heavy wet soils. Apricots, cherries and peaches are extremely sensitive to poorly drained locations and generally perform best on well-drained sandy loam soils. Apples, pears, plums and grapes will produce on either sandy or clay loams.
Fruit trees consist of two parts, a scion and a rootstock. The scion, or fruiting cultivar, is grafted or budded onto a chosen rootstock and forms the above ground part of the tree. The new tree is the same variety as the tree from which the buds or scions were taken, and will produce fruit of that variety. The rootstock is chosen for its ability to support the top of the tree in various soils. A dwarfing rootstock controls the size of the tree, whereas a seedling (often called standard) rootstock promotes more vigorous growth.
For ease of pruning, spraying and picking and also for conservation of space, dwarf fruit trees are the best choice for home gardens.
With some types of fruit, a single tree may crop well when planted in the home garden. These types, which are referred to as “self-fertile”, set fruit with their own pollen. Tart cherry, apricot and peach are good examples. Others, referred to as “self-sterile”, either will not bear at all or will not bear consistently good crops unless pollinated with pollen from another variety. Apple, pear, plum and sweet cherry are good examples of generally “self-sterile” fruits. When any of these are grown, two or more compatible varieties should be planted fairly close to each other, for example in the same backyard. Trees with several different varieties of one kind of fruit grafted on one trunk are available. These trees meet pollination requirements, economize on space and can provide the owner with fresh fruit maturing over several weeks from one tree.
Cross-pollinating varieties must bloom at the same time and be compatible. Of course, pear pollen is not effective on apple; plum pollen is useless on cherry and Japanese and European cultivars are not good pollinators for each other. Tart cherry pollen can be effective for sweet cherry, although flowering times may not coincide. Most sweet cherries are self-sterile, but self-fruitful varieties such as ‘Stella’ and ‘Sweetheart’ are now available. These are also good pollinators for other varieties.
All of our fruit trees are grafted and have a prominent graft union. Do not plant with the soil above the graft union!
Fruit trees need excellent, fast drainage. Do not plant in wet areas or over water. Use mulch to help retain soil moisture.
Use your hand, or if necessary, a knife to cut right through the bottom of the root mass and spread the roots over a mound of soil. Plants normally spread their roots out beyond their own canopy but until your pot grown plant has done so, thorough watering right into the root zone will be very important.
Watering and After Care
Water plants well after planting. Water approximately ONCE A WEEK THEREAFTER.
Use a high phosphorous plant starter fertilizer such as 5-15-5 weekly in the first season.
Good Soil Mix
Arrived at by using:
- 50% Top soil
- 25% Peat Moss and
- 25% Composted Manure
For further information visit the following posts
- Planting Instructions
- Pruning Fruit Trees
- Spraying Fruit Trees
- Fruit Tree Diseases, What To Watch Out For
- Giving A Fruit Tree As A Gift
For Fruit Tree Availability & Questions Visit Us At
Mori Gardens, 1709 Niagara Stone Rd., ON
or contact our garden experts at firstname.lastname@example.org or (905)468-7863