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I Bought an apple Tree. Now What do I do? Our How To Plant Fruit Trees Guide

Hi There, if you are like us then you probably have always wanted and apple tree of other variety of fruit tree growing in your yard. I mean, after all, who doesn’t want to walk out their back door and just be able to grab some fresh fruit. I know we always have. If You don’t already have your tree or trees picked out, you may want to check out our other how to guide on selecting the right fruit tree for you and your area. There are Several important things to consider if you want to get a fruit tree and its important to have a good understanding before buying and planting.

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying Fruit Tree

Choosing the Right Trees

As we Mentioned Above, The first step in starting your orchard is to choose the right trees. We are in Zone 5a in Michigan. This Will Determine When & What Type Of Trees to Plant. We selected 14 fruit trees that are well-suited for our climate and soil conditions. We have several apple varieties, 2 cherries, 1 peach, 1 nectarine, and 2 pears currently on order. The Trees we have selected are all compatible for Pollination. This means when they grow and flower, they will produce fruit. If you are not careful you may end up with trees that grow and flower, but never actually produce fruit. Like we mentioned before, That is why it is important to do research before purchase.

Choosing The Right Location

  • Choose a location with well-drained soil, full sun exposure, and adequate space for the tree to grow to its mature size.
  • Make sure there are no overhead obstructions, such as power lines or buildings.
  • Make Sure there Is Plenty of Space for the trees to grow big and strong.
  • When planting fruit trees, it’s important to space them correctly to allow for adequate air circulation and room to grow. A general rule of thumb is to space fruit trees at least 10-15 feet apart. This distance will vary depending on the specific type of fruit tree and its mature size. For example, dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit trees can be planted closer together, around 6-8 feet apart. It’s important to research the specific variety of fruit tree you plan to plant to determine its mature size and recommended spacing requirements. Proper spacing will help ensure that your fruit trees grow and produce healthy, high-quality fruit.

When is The Best time to plant Apple trees & Other Fruit Trees??

Plant in early spring or fall when the ground is moist. Here is a list of Best Planting Times by USDA Hardiness Zone. If You do not Know your Zone, it can be found here

USDA Hardiness ZoneSpring Planting DatesFall Planting Dates
3Early to mid-MayMid-September to mid-October
4Late April to mid-MayMid-September to mid-October
5Mid to late AprilMid-September to mid-October
6Mid to late MarchMid-September to late October
7Late February to mid-MarchLate September to late October
8Mid to late FebruaryLate October to late November
9Late January to mid-FebruaryLate November to mid-December
10December to mid-JanuaryNo fall planting
USDA Hardiness Zone Fruit Tree Planting Dates

Again, please keep in mind that these are general guidelines and can vary based on local climate and weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check with your local extension office or a knowledgeable nursery for specific recommendations for your area.

You can find your USDA Hardiness Zone by visiting the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, which can be accessed through the following link:

Simply enter your ZIP code or city and state to determine which zone you are in.

Preparing the Soil

Before planting your trees, it’s important to prepare the soil. This may involve removing any grass or weeds, testing the soil pH, and adding any necessary amendments such as compost or fertilizer. In our case, we were lucky to have soil that was already well-suited for fruit trees. We used our Tractor and Rototiller to remove grass and other Vegetation from our Mini Orchard. We also added straw to the soil to create a nice mulch. This will help retain moisture and allow the roots to easily spread.

Planting and Care

Once the soil is ready, it’s time to plant your trees! Make sure to follow the planting instructions for each species, including proper depth, spacing, and watering. There Should be instructions included with any fruit tree you purchase. But here is a general idea of what planting will look like.

  1. Choose a planting location.
  • As Mentioned before. Choose a location with well-drained soil, full sun exposure, and adequate space for the tree to grow to its mature size.
  • Make sure there are no overhead obstructions, such as power lines or buildings.
  1. Dig the planting hole.
  • Dig a hole that is twice the width of the tree’s root ball and just as deep.
  • Break up any clumps of soil and remove any rocks or debris.
  1. Prepare the planting hole.
  • Mix compost or aged manure into the soil before planting to provide nutrients.
  • Create a small mound of soil in the center of the hole to support the root ball.
  1. Plant the tree.
  • Set the tree in the hole and spread out the roots.
  • Make sure the root flare is at or slightly above soil level.
  • Fill in the hole with soil, tamping down lightly as you go.
  1. Water the tree.
  • Water the tree thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil.
  • Water newly planted trees deeply once a week for the first month, and then once a week for the rest of the first growing season.
  1. Mulch the tree.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree, but not directly against the trunk.
  • Mulch helps retain moisture and suppress weeds.

7. Fertilizing

  • Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring before new growth begins.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth and poor fruit quality.

8. Pruning

  • Prune apple and fruit trees in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.
  • Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased wood.

Not Sure What to do After Your Trees Are Planted? We Have First Year Care Guides, Years 2-5 Care & What to Expect, Common Problems & Illnesses & More. Check out Our Fruit Tree Blog Posts to stay up to date on the latest content.

The Rewards

One of the best things about starting your own fruit tree orchard is the delicious rewards! Depending on the species, you may need to wait a few years for your trees to start producing fruit. But once they do, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, home-grown produce that is healthier and tastier than anything you can buy at the store. And of course, you’ll be able to share your bounty with friends and family.

Starting a mini fruit tree orchard is a fun and rewarding activity that can provide you with delicious harvests for years to come. By selecting the right trees, preparing the soil, and providing ongoing care, you can create a thriving orchard that will bring joy and nourishment to your life. So why not give it a try? We’re excited to be starting our own orchard, and we hope you’ll join us on this lighthearted journey! Check Out Our Social Media Accounts for Videos on our planting & Caring for our Trees & Gardens, DIY Projects, Travel Adventures & More!

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