Steve Delgadillo If you are considering fruit trees for your Elbert County property, here are a few planting tips that will help you this spring. The …
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If you are considering fruit trees for your Elbert County
property, here are a few planting tips that will help you this
The site that you pick should be a north, northeast or east
location from your buildings. Sunnier locations can affect the tree
trunks because of the extreme temperature changes of winter.
Avoid low areas that have “frost pockets.” It is better to plant
out of watered lawn areas if possible. The root competition from
grass is hard on the tree and lawn watering keeps the lower trunk
It is best to plant ½- to 1-inch caliper trees. Bare root trees
are a good choice. They should be planted in February, March or
April only. Containerized trees and balled and burlapped trees can
be planted from February to November, but care should be taken when
fall planting so the roots are kept moist during winter because
they don’t have a chance to establish and must receive adequate
moisture to survive.
The trees should receive a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight
in spring, summer and fall.
You can amend the excavated soil at 25 percent to 33 percent by
volume with organic material for bare root and containerized trees.
No fertilizer is needed unless soil tests recommend
Fruit trees have low fertilization needs. In clay soils plant
2-4 inches above the grade, mulch with 2-3 inches of organic mulch
but keep it 6 inches away from the trunk to avoid pest damage.
Avoid overhead irrigation if possible.
Check the soil under mulch to determine frequency of watering;
it should be moist but not overly wet. An indoor plant water gauge
works well to check the soil or dig down 6 inches at the edge of
the planting hole. If dry, water with 10 gallons per inch of
caliper. Again, winter watering is critical during dry spells.
The goal of training and pruning fruit trees is to have maximum
sunlight entry with either an open center or a central leader.
Sunscald prevention is a good idea for winter. Use tree wrap on
younger trees from October to April only, wrapping from the bottom
to the lower branches.
For stone fruits, plant late-blooming cultivars. For frost
protection of blooms and young fruits water the soil to make it
darker as it will absorb more sunlight. Water-filled plastic milk
cartons painted black under the branch extremities during the day
will absorb heat, and then cover the tree to ground with plastic
film over framework before nightfall.
Program volunteer network strives to enhance Coloradans’ quality
of life by: Extending knowledge-based education throughout Colorado
communities to foster successful gardeners. For more information
call the CSU Extension, Elbert County Master Gardener office at
303-621-3162 and request Fact Sheet 7.003 on Training and Pruning
Fruit Trees or access it at the CSU Web site www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/
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