title:Tips for Growing Fruit Trees author:Marilyn Pokorney source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_1958.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:13 category:home_improvement article:

Almost everyone can grow one variety or another of fruit
trees in their backyard. Here are some tips on growing
fruit trees:

Plant fruit trees about 20 feet apart and in a sunny
location.

Plant more than one variety of a fruit. That means there
will be fruit more of the time and not all will mature at
the same time.

Planting more varieties also means better cross-pollination
of pears, apples, plums and cherries, which yields a more
consistent production.

Use less common planting techniques. Plant two, three or
four trees in one hole, or use espalier and hedgerows.

Small trees are much easier to spray, thin, prune, and
harvest than large trees too.

Keep fruit trees at a manageable size. Choose a height that
you can reach for thinning and harvesting while standing on
the ground or a small, safe ladder. The only way to do that
is by pruning.

Pruning is necessary to stimulate new fruiting wood, to
remove broken and diseased wood, and to remove branches to
allow good air circulation and sunlight penetration.
The shape and size of a fruit tree is established during the
first three years so pruning is most important during that
time.

Prune fruit trees any time during January to March before
flowering begins.

Be sure fruit trees receive adequate water during the
growing season.

Keep a 3-inch thick layer of mulch around each tree to cover
the soil over the root system.

Scatter fertilizer starting one foot away from the trunk and
out far enough so that the outer edge is just outside the
outer edge of the branches known as the dripline. Lightly
scratch the fertilizer into the soil with a rake and then
water well.

Fertilize just before bloom or leaf sprout occurs, usually
in March. Use one pound of fertilizer for each one inch of
trunk diameter.

During the trees second year pinch off any flowers and allow
the tree to put all it’s energy into developing its root
system.

For more information on growing healthy fruit trees visit:
http://www.apluswriting.net/garden/fruittree.htm

Copyright: 2006 Marilyn Pokorney
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