How to Choose and Plant Your Fruit Trees



 Choosing Your Fruit Tree

  Home-grown vine or tree-ripened fruit is higher in quality than that bought at the grocery store. Growing your own fruit can be profitable and satisfying, and most fruit trees add to your landscape.  The decision to plant fruit should involve careful variety selection. Not all fruit species are adapted to all areas of Louisiana.  Many factors ultimately determine the adaptation of a given fruit species to an area.  Chill hour requirements, insect and disease resistance, sunlight, drainage and space are, to name a few, information to consider in selecting the fruit that will suit your needs.

  Obtain the best nursery stocks available. Buy only from reputable nurseries that guarantee plants to be true to name, of high quality, and packed and shipped properly. Beware of “bargains.”  Bare-root fruit trees can be planted at any time during the dormant season, usually from about mid November through February in Louisiana. Container-grown plants may be planted over a longer period, usually from September through May. Planting bare-root trees early in the dormant season is often desirable because it allows the soil to settle and the roots to become established and begin developing before top growth begins in the spring.

Planting Your Fruit Tree

 Dig a hole large enough and deep enough to permit setting the plant without bending, breaking or crowding the roots.
Prune roots of the new plant only where it is necessary to remove damaged or dead roots or roots that are exceptionally long and out of proportion to other roots.
  Place loose topsoil in the bottom of the hole. Set the plant in the hole upright at the depth it was growing in the nursery. Then fill the hole about two-thirds full with pulverized topsoil so it will settle around the roots. It is advisable to back fill with the same soil removed from the hole. This will eliminate internal drainage problems. Never add organic matter as a back fill. This creates internal drainage problems. At this point, finish filling the hole with water to help pack the soil. After the water has soaked in, finish filling the hole with topsoil. When planting in soils with poor internal drainage, plant trees on a “crown”or “turtleback” for better drainage.