When purchasing a new fruit tree for your yard, there will often be an assorted size of trees available for purchase at a nursery. It may seem like a good idea to buy the largest or the oldest tree, however, that is not always the case. Here are a few tips to follow when purchasing trees. In this blog we will outline what you should look for:
Choose trees 2 years Old or Younger
It is true that if you find a large fruit tree for sale that is more mature, it will produce fruit sooner because it is already at a fruit-bearing stage of its life cycle. But a tree that is older than two years may have outgrown its pot and there is a good chance it could be root bound and that is not something that you want. You should be buying a tree that is no older than a couple of years. It may take this tree a year or two more to start producing; but it will be worth it. A fruit tree is a long-term investment. This younger tree will adapt better to its new location as it is still growing. You may also be able to adjust your space accordingly to help it grow as the years pass by. For this reason, it is also good to look for a nice straight tree, so you do not have to correct the direction of growth as soon as you get it.
Look For Signs of a Healthy Tree
The tree should not have obvious cankers on the bark and the leaves should look healthy, with no brown or curled up sections where bugs have been allowed to damage them. The trunk of the tree should be at least ½ to ¾ of an inch in diameter and if you pick it up it should not easily come out of the pot. This means the roots are well established. The tree should be about 4-5 feet tall, and you should check for damaged or broken branches. It should have a nice shape and branches coming out from all sides whenever possible. This will help the tree naturally grow balanced and straight. Most fruit trees are grafted at the nursery, and you should check to see that the grafted joint is completely healed. The graft should be totally visible above the soil. If it’s not, the tree should not be planted without clearing any soil around it before doing so. The graft will be susceptible to disease and rot and should be kept above the ground, out of the soil when re-planted.
Fruit Trees Need Proper Care to Be Resistant to Pests
Pests and diseases are a common problem for those cultivating fruit trees. They can wreak havoc on whips and mature trees when caught too late. So long as what’s attacking them is caught in time and then is treated professionally and appropriately, most trees can come back from damage done to it. Being aware of the signs of pests, diseases, and illnesses in trees can save both young whips and mature fruit trees from peril.
This is the key difference between a good spraying program and one that just targets the pests after the damage is done. Spraying prevention products on them ensures good health and good fruit production. Mother Nature and trees have predictable cycles that can be used as indicators for when certain sprays should be done. Nice healthy fruit will be produced if the tree has been properly looked after before the fruit production begins.
Fruit Trees Need Regular Pruning
Mature fruit trees will have the main branches established and then pruning is a matter of taking out dead wood and water sprouts each year and occasionally cutting down the sides and top to fit its space. Younger fruit trees will need to be shaped into a solid, fruit-bearing structure that will last for the tree’s lifetime. Correct annual pruning will make it easy to create the correct healthy and open structure that is ideal for the tree’s optimal health and generous harvest. Whether you are pruning a whip or a mature fruit tree, it is important to remember that a good branch structure is needed, and the height needs to be managed, to make the upkeep easier and the picking of the fruit more manageable.
Choose the Right Tree & Tree Care Company for You
Ultimately, the choice is yours, but we feel that a younger tree has lots of advantages. If you already have mature fruit trees, be sure to maintain regular seasonal upkeep of pruning and looking out for pests and diseases. If you don’t have the time or skill to do so, trust in a certified team like Arcadia, to take care of your fruit trees for you. Contact us, and we’ll help you get the ideal fruit production and long-lasting fruit trees.