Fall’s cooler weather is the perfect opportunity to plant fruit trees. Let your children pick out a tree and be responsible for its care. Follow these tips from County Agent Sarah Bertrand from the Louisiana State University AgCenter in Jefferson Parish, La.:
- Choose the proper fruit species and variety for your location. Some fruit trees require cross-pollination with a separate variety of the same species, so you know its needs before planting.
- Plant in an area that receives full sun (at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight). Make sure the spot has good soil drainage, proper space for growth and avoid low-lying areas. Soil test for fertilizer requirements prior to planting.
- Dig a hole the exact depth of the tree’s root ball and twice the width of the tree’s root ball. Carefully place the root ball into the hole and replace loosened soil, packing it gently into the hole to stabilize the tree. Water thoroughly. Stake only if necessary and not for longer than one year.
- Water frequently (deep watering and not sprinkling) throughout the first year.
- Remember, all fruit trees have to mature before fruit production so your tree might not produce fruit for a few years.