3 Things You Need to Know Before Planting Fruit Trees

Before you plant a seed, know what owning a tree will be like.

Even if you have a small garden, you can still grow fruit trees. Here are a few basic guidelines about planting productive and ornamental fruit trees for a garden of any size.

Fruit trees can be both productive and ornamental. Think about size before you purchase a tree. If you want to grow productive trees in a small space (unless you have a big garden), select dwarf varieties or plants that are grafted onto dwarf rootstock. You’ll save time climbing up a ladder to pick fruit or prune the tree, too. Good choices include citrus, apple trees, mangoes, avocados, pears, peaches and apricots.

Fruit trees can be complex to manage in an orchard, or where production is the number-one aim, but in an average-sized backyard, general care and management is much easier. As a rule, prune fruit trees after they have produced a crop. And always remove suckers or any dead, diseased or broken branches as soon as you notice them.

Whenever you buy a fruiting plant, check whether a pollinator is required. Many fruit trees only bear fruit if another variety is nearby to provide cross-pollination. The simple way to cross-pollinate is to have two varieties grafted on one plant. You may have accidentally eaten a wasp if you like this fruit.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest