Growing Medium sized fruit trees at home

low hanging fruit on the apple tree
low hanging fruit on the apple tree

What to Look for when Buying a Tree Sapling?

Although the process of growing and looking after a tree is usually challenging and difficult at times, occasionally one of the hardest parts is selecting which kind you want. You have to pick between the many sizes, fruit and other characteristics.

The different sizes consist of: dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard.

Your selection can influence everything about your growing experience, consisting of the amount of work you need to put in and the amount of rewards (fruit) you get

Dwarf trees are ideal if you have a restricted amount of open space in your yard. They take up as little as eight-foot diameter plot of land. Although the dwarf fruit trees are smaller than the others, their fruit is just the same size and the shortness makes them much easier to prune and harvest.  Dwarf fruit trees are known to have shorter life span than the larger fruit trees. They begin to bear fruit after three to five years, so if you are going to buy a dwarf fruit tree from a nursery you should always inspect and see how old it is.

Medium sized semi-dwarf trees, when they are full grown they take up a fifteen-foot diameter and the tree’s height can range from as low as ten feet to as high as sixteen feet. To keep them from getting too big you must prune them at least once a year. Occasionally semi-dwarf fruit trees take a season off and produce little or no fruit, however mostly they produce hundreds of fruits every year. Lots of people appreciate having semi dwarf fruit trees because they produce more fruit than a dwarf tree and they are usually simpler to harvest and maintain than a standard sized fruit tree.

Standard sized fruit trees take up a lot more area then any of the smaller tree varieties and they are also more difficult to maintain and to harvest all of the fruit. If you do not prune them at least once a year they can grow as big as thirty feet. If you are looking for a good tree to provide you with plenty of delicious fruit from and to keep your yard shady, a standard sized tree would be the perfect tree for you.

Standard sized trees take a very long time to reach their full height, however they usually begin to bear fruit after three to five.

The best variety of fruit tree to buy would be one that bears fruit and does well in your area, due to the fact that a regional fruit tree takes much less work and grows the best. Although fruit trees bearing various other, more exotic kinds of fruit may seem more exciting, they usually won’t grow in your area.

That’s not to say it’s impossible. You can certainly try to grow a more exotic tree, but it takes a lot more dedication and time.

Another factor associated with selecting a type of tree is what sort of soil you have, since some trees do better in damp soil while others are better suited for drier soil. Plum tree is ideal if it rains often in your area. However if you do not get very much rainfall you would do better to plant a pear tree or an apple tree. Prior to selecting which type of fruit tree you would like to grow, consult your local nursery or horticulture expert to learn which trees would succeed in your area.

Other things that you need to look for while searching for a fruit tree at the nursery are things like how sturdy it is, if all of the branches are leveled, how straight the tree stands, the condition of the roots that support the tree, the length of the stem and the height of the fruit from the ground. Making a cautious and calculated decision can mean the difference between having the stunted fruit from your lopsided tree being eaten by animals all day long.

Planting and Caring for a Tree

When you have selected which kind of fruit tree you would like and where you like it, you can finally start to plant it. If you buy your tree from a nursery, be particularly cautious when you are taking it from the nursery to your house. Once had a friend who placed the tree in the back of his truck, but clipped a sign on the way home. The tree broke into half and my friend was left a very sad man.

When you get your tree safely back to your yard, take a look at the bottom of it and see how big the clump of roots is. It may seem like a lot of work, however dig a hole that is twice as wide as the clump and just a little less deep. A slightly bigger hole than the clump of roots allows there to be room for the soil that you dug out to be put back in. Or else you are stuck with a giant heap of undesirable dirt and nowhere to put it. After you have dug the hole, line the hole with some compost or fertilizer to ensure that the tree grows far better. After you have done this you must set your fruit tree into the hole and spread the roots out evenly to ensure that the tree is strong and stable.

pomegranate is easy to grow and bears fruit within the second year
pomegranate is easy to grow and bears fruit within the second year

When all of this work is done, take the soil that you dug up and fill in the hole completely. Unless you want large piles of dirt all over, you need to make sure you utilize all of the dirt even if it is a couple inches higher than the rest of your yard. This is due to the fact that it will compress when watered. Before you tighten the soil, ensure that the tree is completely vertical and will not fall over. After you have inspected that the tree is perfectly vertical you can gently tighten 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 rope. Make sure not to tie the rope tightly to the tree, as you need to allow room for the trunk to grow. Once the tree is sturdy enough to withstand all kinds of weather condition, you can take the stakes of it. When all of this is done you must mulch around the base of the tree. If you live in an area where wild animals can access your yard, then you need to put a fence around your tree, due to the fact that some animals may eat the bark off of young trees.

Successfully planted fruit tree will start to bear fruit after it is three to five years old. Once your tree starts to bear fruit you need to periodically pick a few of the fruit to ensure that the branches aren’t weighed down too much. The branches can break off, if the fruit gets too thick. Your tree might not bear as much fruit as others on some years, but this should not worry you. Healthy trees usually take years on “vacation” where they produce little or no fruit

After you’ve planted your tree you may start to have some problems with insects. To help keep these insects away, constantly rake away old fallen leaves, brush, or any other decaying matter that could be holding insects that could be harmful to your tree.

To ensure that your tree constantly remains healthy in the long run, you need to 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 cutter because it could severely damage the growth process. Also ensure that your tree gets plenty of water and lots of sunlight and your growing experience should be simply fantastic.

Pruning Your Trees

If you have actually gotten in the tree growing world, you have heard the term “pruning” tossed around by the seasoned growers.

Removal of dead or unwanted branches to encourage the growth of flowers is called pruning. Usually a tree will wind up devoting energy to branches that don’t need it, while neglecting branches which are bearing more fruit. If you remove the branches that are taking all the nutrients, you will start to see a flourish in the other ones. Pruning is done to keep the tree in shape by keeping the branches even. It also prevents the tree from becoming weighed down on one side. As too many branches on one side might cause the tree to become permanently crooked.

Several gardeners don’t even consider pruning their trees till they start to bear fruit. This is a huge mistake and you must never neglect to take care of a tree even if it hasn’t yet begun to produce. During the entire process of growth, you must prune the tree in a manner that it is even and uniform. Then, when it does start to produce fruit, the results will be significantly better. It is extremely easy to discriminate between a tree that has been pruned regularly throughout its growth and one that has actually been neglected. Usually the shape of the tree is a lot more natural looking if it has been pruned

The first thing to look for when you start pruning is branches which are dead or infected. These are  rather easy to recognize. Usually they don’t bear any fruit and could be misshapen or twisted or discolored. Don’t hesitate at all in chopping these off, as they are nothing but damaging to the health of your tree. Sometimes a branch can be dead or infected without making it noticeable. If this is the case, wait until the tree is flowering and it will become noticeable by not growing anything.

Another type of branch to look for is the one that is too close in range to all the other ones. If it grows at such a length and angle that the end is right beside all the other branches, they may end up crowding each other out. Remove the smaller of the two branches to enable the larger one to have the breathing space that it needs. This same rule applies to the weight equilibrium of your tree. Sometimes, for reasons we never understand, a tree grows several branches on one side and weighs itself into being lopsided.

Berry planting to attract wild birds into your garden
Berry planting to attract wild birds into your garden

There are situations and types of branches that require pruning, these can alter depending on how old your tree is. For instance, for the initial 3 years of a tree’s growth it needs pruning that complies with more “formative” guidelines. After the tree is well developed, you need to use “regulatory” pruning to keep it where you like it to be.

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