Planting Fruit Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Altoona, PA
Question by SAG
May 18, 2000
I HAVE BEEN GIVEING SOME FRUIT TREES (CHERRY,APPLE,PEACH,) AND WHAT TO KNOW THE BEST WAY TO PLANT THESE WOULD BE! I HAVE A LITTLE OVER 1 ACRE TO WORK WITH MOST OF IT HAS SUN 3/4 OF THE DAY BUT I HAVE A LOT OF CLAY IN MY SOIL. ANY INFO WOULD BE A BIG HELP!!!!!!


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Answer from NGA
May 18, 2000

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Fruit trees as a rule do best in all day sun, so try to locate them in the sunniest area. Ideally a slight slope ensures good drainage and also avoids planting them in a frost pocket -- if possible, do not plant them at the bottom of a hill where cold air will collect. Without knowing the specific varieties it is a bit difficult to suggest an appropriate spacing. As a rule of thumb there should be ample room between them to accommodate their mature size without crowding.

You might want to run some basic soil tests and see what amendments if any would be added to optimize the soil for your trees. Your county extension (695-5541) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results. They should also be able to provided you with the most up to date care recommendations including the suggested spray regime for each type of fruit. These are usually somewhat area-specific to reflect the prevalence of certain problems in a locality and should also take into account the resistances or susceptibilities of the varieties you are growing.

Finally, keep the trees mulched and watered until they become established and make sure to protect the trunks from rodent damage in the winter and weedwhacker damage in the summer. Enjoy your trees!

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