Planting fruit trees now in early spring will allow the tree to establish itself just in time for growing season.
How many should I plant?
The first thing to note is that if you want to be picking fruit you’ll generally need to plant multiple trees, two at least. An additional tree that flowers simultaneous to the other tree(s) allows for cross-pollination and fruit to grow.
Those with smaller gardens who are concerned about planting multiple trees might be best exploring the option of dwarf fruit trees, which would take up less space.
“Small garden” apple trees are also worth considering. These trees can produce 2-3 variations of apple on the same trunk.
Where should I grow my fruit tree?
There is a simple process to follow when it comes to finding the right location for planting, regardless of the type of fruit tree you plan to grow.
You should try to strike a balance between having your location open enough for the tree to receive sufficient sunlight, but not so open that your fruit will be vulnerable to strong winds.
Once you have chosen your location, dig a hole approximately three times the size of the tree’s root system, allowing the roots plenty of room to expand outwards.
The drawback to growing a tree from the dwarf variety is that they will require more favourable growing conditions compared to a traditional fruit tree, so be sure to provide them with fertile soil and a location where they’ll receive plenty of sunlight.
It is vital that you stake your tree appropriately, especially if you are growing a dwarf variety as they have shallower roots and can easily have fruit knocked and damaged by strong winds. If you want to be extra cautious, you can keep your tree staked even after it becomes well established, adjusting the stake around the trunk as it grows.
What’s the best way of protecting my fruit tree?
It’s always a good idea to apply a grease band (sticky paper or glue) to the stake or trunk of your tree around 45cm above the soil.
This will prevent moths from reaching the plant to mate and produce caterpillars which will eat the leaves of your tree and any fruit it produces.
We’re here to help
If you have any questions about growing your fruit trees talk to any of our horticulturists in store. If you have a specific problem like pest damage on a plant, it’s really helpful to bring us a photo of it. We’d love to help.