Planting a fruit tree

This is not any kind of planting: you are expecting fabulous harvests! Put all the chances on your side right from the start as a fruiting tree which starts growing badly, rarely gives good surprises.

Planting a fruit tree
A planting which cannot be improvised!

This is not any kind of planting: you are expecting fabulous harvests! Put all the chances on your side right from the start as a fruiting tree which starts growing badly, rarely gives good surprises.

Planting a fruit tree
Choose your tree according to the site rather than growing it in an inadequate space.

It is the site that makes the tree

Unless you have a very large garden, you must primarily take into account the conditions that you can provide to a fruiting tree in order to choose it. Fruiting trees all need full sun but a few tolerate light shade (part of the day only) like apple trees and chestnut trees. If the tree is grown in too much shade, it will grow more or less well without ever producing fruits (anyway, their taste would only disappoint you).

Prepare and improve the soil

Enrich the soil where you intend to plant the tree, several months ahead. The restart is better if the soil has been worked a long time before planting takes place, as the tree will have a more important water-reserve at his disposal, when the first hot days arrive. To settle well, the soil must be prepared 1m deep, especially in poor soil (heavy or very stony soils).

Plan ahead in order to have a mature soil's enriching agent or potting compost at your disposal. Avoid using any badly composted soil-enrichment product or fresh manure. Slow release fertiliser, in tablet form is useful to give a little helping hand, in the spring rather than the autumn nevertheless.

Planting a fruit tree
Nothing more than good potting compost or mature compost!

Planting, it is really simple

Once the site has been well chosen and the soil prepared carefully, planting the tree in itself does not present any difficulty. Proceed like for any other potted plant. If a root has been damaged (if it was going out of the pot before removing it from it for example), shorten it with secateurs cutting out the damaged part, from where it starts. Do not let the root ball sit at ground level but bury it 3 to 5cm deeper. This will prevent the root ball from drying too quickly later on. Once the tree has been placed in situ (in the spring only), form a basin around it so it does make the most of rainwater.

Planting a fruit tree
Two and a half watering cans: In summer, this is the right, weekly quantity.

Water freely

Water the tree, not solely at planting time, but during the first few years of its life. You must not drown the tree of course but plan for 30 to 50L of water per week, from June to September, during the first three years. Failing that, the tree would settle in badly and after that it would be no good...

M. Jean-Michel GROULT
 
Crédits photos: Franck Boucourt (Sauf mention contraire)
Pépinières PLANFOR
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