Seasonally available large caliper fruit trees are available and in stock now! Fruit trees usually appear only in early spring, and once they’re gone we won’t see them again until next year. Have you ever considered planting fruit trees in your yard? How about a small hobby orchard to feed the neighborhood? Nothing beats stepping out into your backyard and chomping into a juicy apple or peach freshly plucked from a tree in your own back yard. Before you commit here’s a few tips to help you achieve a bountiful harvest year after year.
Be warned, fruit trees are a hobby and considerable attention is necessary to protect your tender fruit from voracious insects and pesky bacteria and fungi. This can be done organically, but timing and careful monitoring is required to treat the trees as pests appear.
Horticultural oils such as sesame oil can be used to control most insects such as aphids, scale, mealy bugs, and mites. Oils are also effective in preventing the introduction and spread of many fungi and bacteria, and most can be applied up until harvest.
Insecticidal soaps are also an effective way to control insects without harming your fruit or loved ones. The soap dries out the exoskeleton of most soft-shelled insects, and also helps control bacteria and fungi.
Pyrethrins are organic chemicals extracted from geranium plants that act as a natural insect repellent. These are generally considered organic and safe, however care should be taken not to inhale or consume the chemicals, and fruit should be washed before eating.
Trees that become infected may require more aggressive chemical treatments. Some are available commercially, but you may want to have your trees treated by a professional arborist.
Even if you’re fruit survives the summer, ravenous squirrels often ravage the fruit just before harvest! Having said all that, spraying the trees a few times a year and warding off the squirrels really isn’t all that much work and the payoff is sensational! With a little patience and the right know-how you’ll have baskets of fruit for your family and neighbors to enjoy in no time.
Don’t overlook the ornamental characteristics of fruit trees either. Most have stunning flowers and handsome leaves as well. After all, most of our ornamental flowering trees like Crabapple and Chanticleer Pear originate from the same parent lineage, they have just been hybridized for ornamental attributes rather than produce. If you’re going to plant a tree for screening or ornamentation anyway, you might consider one that produces edible fruit as well!
Commercial fruit growers prune their trees into tortured habits. Some of this is to promote fruit production but mostly they do it to make the fruit more accessible at harvest. You don’t need to aggressively prune your home fruit trees to get results. Let them grow naturally, prune mostly for aesthetics or to thin out branches, and you’ll have more fruit than your family could possibly consume.
I don’t include fruit trees in my on-line catalog, but here’s pricing for delivery and planting for 2” caliper trees currently available. Call for pricing and availability on larger caliper trees or just delivery only:
Apple- Royal Gala, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious- $775
Apricot- Moorpark, Chinese- $775
Cherry- Bing, Montmorency, Black Tartarian, Bali- $775
Peach- Elberta, Polly- $800
Plum- Santa Rosa, Mount Royal, Toka,
Pear- Bartlett, Summercrisp- $775
Price includes delivery, soil amendment, tree stakes and supports, and top dress mulch, just like our other trees. Other than treatments described above, care for your fruit trees just as you would any other tree as described in our tree care guide. Consistent watering is essential for fruit production, and winter wrap is definitely recommended, as it is for all newly planted trees.
* This article is intended to introduce gardeners to the possibilities of growing fruit trees and is not intended to be an authoritative reference. Happy Trees can provide more information to prospective clients upon request. Always buy chemicals and seek advice from local independent garden centers. unlike the big-box stores, they usually have experienced experts on staff. Always follow label directions and wear protective clothing when applying any pesticides. Use caution not to harm bees or other beneficial insects. Take extra precautions around koi ponds and pets.