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Planting a Potted Fruit Tree

July 21, 2011 - GrowOrganic
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You can plant bare-root fruit trees in the fall/winter, but if you get a spring/summer brain wave that you’d like to add a fruit tree to your garden or orchard, you can certainly plant a potted tree. Right now in July we have potted apple, peach and pear trees in our Grass Valley nursery, ready to go into local gardens. In fact, if fruit trees have sensitive roots, or are evergreen, they should be planted from a soil-filled pot or sleeve. Figs, pomegranates, olives, and citrus trees are finicky…
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Video Transcript
Hi I'm Tricia a California organic gardener. I'm here at my friend Stephanie's backyard orchard and in addition to these beautiful walnuts Stephanie wants to grow a fig tree.

Site selection is really important to the success of your tree you wanna pick an area that's got lots of sunlight, good air circulation and good drainage. You want to dig a hole at least twice as big as the size of the roots. In preparation for planting I have filled this hole with water and let it drain twice to ensure this spot has proper drainage if you don't have soil that drains well you might wanna consider planting your tree in a raised bed. This soil is full of clay so I'mn going to rough up the sides before I plant the tree. Figs don't like to be fertilized right off the bat so i'm not gonna add any at planting time if this was an olive tree I'd definitely add some fertilizer.

So i think I'm ready to plant my tree now figs and pomegranates have a pretty sensitive root system olives and citrus are evergreen so your chances of success by planting trees that are coming in this sleeve are greater than if you were planting bare root. Carefully massage the tree out of its sleeve and if you see any dry or dead roots just snip them off, inspect the root system carefully. Place the tree in the hole and backfill the unamended soil. For anything other than a fig you want to plant the tree at the same level that it was planted before. All right, now that my hole is filled I'm going to compact the soil lightly with my hands and i've put a little mound of about one to two inches heigh around the root to prevent crown rot.

So finally I'm going to water the tree and watch for settling. If the tree starts to settle and you get some air pockets in their you can lift up on it and remove them. Fruit trees require a lot more water while they're getting established then they will later on right now I'm going to use this shrubbler putting it on the up slope of the tree and these are great because you can adjust the amount of water anywhere from zero to twenty gallons per hour. This tree is gonna need about six to eight gallons oh about every other day every couple of days while its getting established I'm going to add about three to six inches of compost mulch over the top of the hole, wow look at all those beautiful earthworms coming out of my compost, woohoo. You want to make sure and not let the compost mulch get up to the trunk of the tree and so finally we want to put some straw mulch or bark on the top and mulching is really gonna help keep the soil moist and it's gonna prevent weeds and it's going to help improve the tilth of the soil. So to protect Stephanie's little fig tree from the hot California sun Im going to put this spiral tree guard around the trunk. So in a couple of years hopefully Stephanie will share some of her figs with me in the meantime maybe i'll get some walnuts for helping her plant the tree. So thanks for watching and grow organic for life!

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Categories: Fruit Trees, Pomegranate Trees, Olive Trees, Fig Trees, Citrus Trees


Katelyn Says:
Jan 4th, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I just received a potted fig tree and was wondering when the best time to plant it is? I’m in the Piedmont region of Georgia so we’re still having freezing temperatures right now. If I wait till after the last frost, how should I care for it in the meantime? I have it in my basement now. Do I water it?

Stephanie Brown Says:
Feb 7th, 2014 at 9:13 am

Hello Katelyn, The fig tree is dormant so you can go ahead and put it in the ground the frost won’t hurt it. If you want to keep in the basement then it’s fine down there, since it’s dormant it won’t need a lot of water. Don’t let it dry out completely, just keep it as moist as a rung out sponge.

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