Every year Utah farmers and gardeners’ plant new fruit trees. Some were planted as bare root trees and others were planted from pots. The following are six precautions to take with your tender new fruit trees.
- One, make sure the graft union is above the final soil line. If the graft union is placed below the soil line, it is not too late to loosen the soil and pull the tree up so that the graft union is 2-3 inches above the final soil line.
- Two, make sure your little trees get adequate water. Watering them twice per week should be enough. Each time, give each tree 2-3 gallons of water in a reservoir built around the tree.
- Three, protect the base of the tree from mowers and string trimmers by keeping any other vegetation away from the trunk. Adding a layer of mulch in a doughnut fashion around the tree will help keep weeds from growing.
- Four, young trees need an initial pruning, and it isn’t too late to prune. Remove any very weak or damaged branches. You may need to reduce the tree height by making an initial cut of about 40 inches above the soil. Remove any branches below about 30 inches.
- Five, trees that are smaller that are a half inch in diameter will benefit from staking. Place a stake or post about two inches from the tree on the windward side and fasten the tree loosely to the post or stake.
- And six, if your tree produced flowers this year, remove them. You want to grow the tree this year and get it well established. Young trees don’t have the resources to grow both fruit and branches.
Paying attention to these details now will pay huge dividends down the road.