Planting a fruit tree in Chicago, Illinois - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by klivingstone0
September 6, 2008
I am planning to plant two fruit trees. One Stella Cherry Tree and a Red Bartlett Pear Tree. 1) How do I plant the fruit trees (steps involved), what soil, fertilizer, soil and amenities to add (blood meal, etc.) And how far apart should I plant them from each other? Thank you, Kim


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Answer from NGA
September 6, 2008

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An important consideration when choosing where to plant a fruit tree is soil drainage. Fruit trees will not thrive in soil that drains too slowly. You can test for drainage by digging a hole about l foot deep and filling it with water. The hole should drain within 3 hours.

Here's how to plant: Dig the hole. Go down about 18" and, with a pitchfork, fork the bottom and sides of the hole to loosen the soil. Sprinkle compost on the bottom of the hole. Put some dirt back in the hole, leaving a mound in the center. Set tree in hole with the root ball on top of the mound. The graft line of the tree should be about 3" above the ground. Adjust the height of the mound if necessary. Spread roots evenly in all directions. Fill hole with soil and firm gently with your foot. Check that the tree is vertical. Be sure to 'overfill' the hole so the soil is an inch or two above ground level. The soil will compress when watered, and settle to ground level.

Stella cherry trees grow about 15' wide; Bartlett pears can be either standard, dwarf or semi-dwarf so spacing will depend upon the mature size listed on the label. Plant at least as far apart as the potential width of the mature canopy.

Best wishes with your new fruit trees!

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