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Ask Casa: General Tips For Growing Fruit Trees

Earlier this week Adelka asked for some tips for growing pear trees. I thought I'd amend the pear tree advice with some general tips for growing fruit trees.

Advice For Growing Fruit Trees

  • In order to get the most bang for your buck (or the most fruit for your tree), provide your fruit tree with two other varieties for cross pollination.
  • Asian pears, apples, figs, and European pears are all easy to grow. Because of disease issues, apricots, peaches, and cherries need more care.
  • If you're squeezed for space, consider buying a dwarf or semidwarf tree, which will only grow 20 feet tall at the maximum.
  • Train your fruit tree so they have a strong, upright trunk, and well-spaced, spreading side branches. Prune your tree to remove broken or diseased branches, and remove crowded branches to increase productivity.
  • It's especially important to prune branches on apple, cherry, pear, and plum trees. That's because these types of fruit grow on spurs, which are short twigs that grow on older wood. These spurs will die if they don't get enough sunlight.
  • Be sure fruit trees receive adequate water during the growing season.
  • Scatter fertilizer starting one foot away from the trunk of fruit trees, so they don't get burned by the highly nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You can scratch the fertilizer into the soil with a rake, and then water it well.
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