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Incorporate a Fruit Tree into your Yard

April 14, 2014
Apple Trees at Dawson's Orchard. Photo Credit: Paul g Weigman

                      Photo Credit: Paul g. Wiegman

What could be better than picking a fresh peach off a tree that you planted only a few feet from your back door? Fruit trees can add a new layer to your ever-evolving vegetable garden. You may already have established fruit trees in your yard, or you may want to go to the local garden center and pick up a fruit tree of your choice.

To get started with a fruit tree, consider the location. Most fruit trees will need a sunny location with a little breathing room, to allow them to grow over the years. With pruning, you can keep most fruit trees at 10 feet wide and control their vertical growth.

Pollination is another factor in choosing a location. Are there any other trees of that species in the neighborhood to help pollinate your new tree? If yours is the first, you can purchase a self-fertile tree or plant multiple trees. Apples and pears will need more than one variety to cross-pollinate and bear fruit. Peaches and plums are usually self-fertile and only need one tree to bear fruit.

Pruning should be minimal for the first year or two, until the tree gets established. In later years, the tree will need more pruning to remain at a manageable size. There are reference books and websites explaining specific techniques for different types of trees. It can be very rewarding to help sculpt a tree that will provide you with fruit.

With proper planning and care, you can enjoy years and years of fresh fruit right in your own back yard.

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