The Best Time to Plant a (Fruit) Tree

Red Gold Nectarine.

Red Gold Nectarine.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. — Chinese Proverb

We planted a Red Gold Nectarine and a Summer Crisp Pear. Varieties that are both well-suited to our climate, and they were grown by our local providers at Tooley’s Trees.

When choosing and planting a fruit tree, be aware of the following factors:

  • The number of chill hours the variety requires
  • Be cognizant of the landscape location where the tree is planted; stay away from South-facing slopes, as your tree is likely to break dormancy too soon.
  • In our case the pear flowers later than the nectarine, so we put it in a sunnier winter-spring location. This way breaking dormancy early is less-likely to result in fruit loss from spring frost.
  • Don’t put a bunch of soil amendments in the hole, as the tree will not spread it’s roots into the poorer surrounding soil
  • Keep the first branching lateral roots close to the surface.
  • Spread the roots out in all directions in a mat-like structure surrounding the tree. Imagine a tree canopy that expands in all directions; you want the tree to replicate the same pattern underground.
  • Lift the upper roots as you bury the lower roots, then release and bury on top of lower roots.


The Best Time to Plant a (Fruit) Tree — 1 Comment

  1. Great helpful info. I planted a lot today: 10 Papaya seed, 60 honey dew, 60 cantaloupe, lots of corn, red beets, red cabbage, bell peppers, jalapenos 4 years old or so; have a nice peach tree from seed, fig tree branches in clone mode right now doing well, banana trees, blackberry from neighbor cloned, Brussels-sprouts,and much more. All now is free from save seeds from last season and fruit and vegs along the way kept seeds to plant started a month ago, and grow inder lights to get started early indoors in the cold. I will make a green house like you Frank A. to grow year round. Thanks for all your knowledge.

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