Planting fruit trees

Planting fruit trees is one of the key steps in turning your property into a sustainable food source.  Once established, fruit trees can bear quality produce year after year.  Planting fruit trees not only provide good quality food for your family but they also provide privacy and beauty.  For some reason, most homeowners overlook planting fruit trees when landscaping.  If you are going to put in the work to plant and maintain a tree, why not plant one that bears fruit.

Depending on where you live, certain fruit trees will be more popular than others.  If you live in a cooler climate like myself, I would recommend planting a couple apple and pear trees.  These fruit trees provide good food that is easy to pick and store.  Apples and pears can be enjoyed raw, dehydrated, canned, as juice, or even as wine or brandy.  Apple and pear trees grow in many types of soil and are easy to take care of.

When picking out fruit trees, it is important to make a decision you can live with.  Be careful, you may pick out a variety of fruit and find out you don't like it.  To help pick out the right type, wait until the fruit season in your area. and then go to a local road-side market.  Pick out a couple different varieties of fruit and try them all until you find out a favorite.  You may find out that your local varieties taste different than the store bought ones.  Try a Michigan grown gala apple and then a Washington state version... you will know what I am talking about.

Once you find out what variety of fruit tree you like, you will need to decide how many and what type to plant.  When deciding on how many fruit trees you will plant, make sure to study up on your choice.  For pollination purposes, most apple and pear trees need another fruit tree planted with them.

When it comes to what size of fruit tree to plant, most fruit trees come in semi-dwarf and dwarfs.  The semi-dwarf trees grow from 12 to 16 feet and the dwarf versions usually grow 6 to 10.  Size is the only difference between the two types so pick one that suits you best.  I prefer the dwarf version because I have a smaller lot and I find they are easier to harvest and maintain.

Once you have decided exactly what you want, you will actually have to purchase the fruit tree.  Fruit trees can be purchased on-line or from a local grower.  Purchasing fruit trees on-line can be cheaper than buying them locally but they may be shipped from another part of the country and you don't get to see the product.

When purchasing fruit trees on-line, make sure you know your growing zone (can be found on most sites) and pick a fruit tree that grows in that zone.  When buying locally, ask the grower to see the fruit tree you will be buying.  Inspect the fruit tree to make sure it has a good root system and it looks healthy.  Buying locally is the way to go for me.  You may have to pay a couple bucks but you will be supporting the local economy.

If you are thinking about planting fruit trees in your yard, remember the old saying and get out and do it.  When is the best time to plant fruit trees.... last year.

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