The Q&A Archives: Planting Fruit Trees Next To House

Question: How close to a house foundation can fruit trees be planted? Are fruit trees easy to care for? In a seed catalog I have found self-pollinating varieties of the following: apple, pear, nectarine, peach, cherry, and plum. This means that they will fruit without a second variety nearby, correct?

Answer: When planting trees of any kind, it is important to allow them ample room for root development (roots will extend about half again as far as the canopy of the mature tree). It's also important to give them adequate spacing for good air circulation, which is important in preventing disease. However, most dwarf fruit trees have relatively confined root systems.

Fruit trees grow best in full sun and need that much light in order to produce a good crop of fruit, so planting them next to a building isn't ideal. Tree roots can damage a foundation, so again it is wiser to plant the fruit trees out in the open at a safe distance from both the foundation and any underground utilities.

Self-pollinating trees should be self fruitful, but often such varieties will set more and better quality fruit when a different variety is close by.

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