My Backyard Landscape Design: Planting Fruit Trees

My backyard has been a boring mess for quite some time. So I decided that in 2010 I was going to remedy this sad state of affiairs. I'm determined to transform my yard and with alll those choices, I figured I could find a design I like – and I was right. Actually, the hard part was choosing because there are so many delightful looking possibilitiess.

When landscaping yards, we are to chose the larger elements first and since I want more trees, I've chose to plant fruit trees. After all, why not be practical? If we can eat what grows on a beautiful plant/tree, all the better.

Growing Fruit Trees

Growing fruit trees successfully definitely requires a bit of knowledge. Obviously, the place to start is decided which species you'd like to buy.

When you decide on which kind of fruit tree you would like, and where you would like it, you can finally start to plant it. If you buy your tree from a nursery, be especially careful when you are taking it from the nursery to your house. I once had a friend who put the tree in the back of his truck, but clipped a sign on the way home. The entire tree snapped in half, and my friend was left a very sad man!

Planting A Fruit Tree

Planting a fruit tree properly is critical – just dump the poor tree in a hole and it will most likely die. So when your tree is safely back to your yard, remove it from the container. Look at the dirt at the bottom of it and see how big the clump of roots is. It may seem like a lot of work now, but you want to dig a hole that is twice as wide as the clump, and just a little less deep. Making the hole slightly bigger than the clump of roots allows room for the soil that you dug out to be put back in. Otherwise, you are stuck with a giant heap of unwanted dirt, and nowhere to put it.

After you have dug the hole, line the hole with some compost or fertilizer so the tree will grow better.

After you have done this, you should set your fruit tree into the hole, and spread the roots out evenly so the tree will be strong and stable.

When all of this business is done, take the soil you dug up and fill in the hole completely. Unless you want big piles of dirt everywhere, you should be sure you use all of the dirt even if it is a couple inches higher than the rest of your yard. This is because it will compress when watered. Before you firm up the soil, make sure that the tree is completely vertical and will not fall over. After you are certain that the tree is perfectly vertical, you can gently firm up the soil.

If the tree's trunk is not yet completely sturdy and can be bent, you need to tie the tree to a stake with a bit of rope. Be sure not to tie the rope tightly to the tree; you need to allow room for the trunk to grow. Once the tree is sturdy enough to withstand all types of weather, you can take the stakes off of it.

When all of this is done, you should mulch around the base of the tree. If you live in an area where wildlife can access your yard, then you should put a fence around your tree. Some animals will eat the bark off of young trees.

Once you successfully plant your fruit tree, it will start to bear fruit after it is three to five years old. When your tree starts to carry a lot of fruit, you should periodically pick some of the fruit so that the branches aren't weighed down too much. If the fruit gets too thick, the branches can break off.

In some years, your tree might not bear as much fruit as others, but this should not worry you. Healthy trees often take "vacation" years where they produce little or no fruit.

After you've planted your tree, you might start to have some problems with pests. To help keep these pests away, always rake away old leaves, brush, or any other decaying matter that could be holding bugs that could be harmful to your tree.

To make sure that your tree always stays healthy in the long run, you should prune it during winter or spring. Water your tree every two weeks during dry times, and be sure not to hit your tree with a lawn mower or a weed eater because it could severely damage the growth process.

The most important things are to make sure that your tree gets plenty of water and sun, and your growing experience should be very fruitful (pun intended).

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Comments

  1. Lovely article and well written! I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

  2. Jane J. Barrientos says:

    Planting fruit tree is good idea but be careful about your lawn also. Because it is the one thing which enhances the beauty of your garden.

  3. Sally Jensen says:

    This article reminds me of last spring when my daughter asked me to plant a tree with her and bury a time capsule beside it (I think the wheelbarrow picture triggered that memory). I was considering planting a fruit tree, but we have so many pests already. How do you deal with them? Fences don’t work for squirrels.

    • Protection is the only possible answer and even that doesn't work a lot of the time. I remember my first (and only) time for planting Silver Queen corn. I nursed those plants like an anxious momma, tenderly caring for them. And on the morning when I went out to gather the corn I discovered that EVERY SINGLE EAR was gone! The darned squirrels decimated my corn. On the other hand, I have blackberries and I cover them with netting and get to keep <most> of my berries.

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