April Tip of the Month

April 7, 2017 | 10:06 am | Share

April is a great time to plant new fruit trees. When receiving bare-root trees by delivery services, it is best to plant them as soon as possible after arrival. 

If the weather or your schedule prevents immediate planting, check to be sure the plants are the ones you ordered,  that they are undamaged, and that the roots are wet. Leave them in their packaging in a cool place if they can be planted in a few days. If planting must be delayed longer than three days, heel them in or pot them until they can be planted. It is essential that the roots remain wet until the trees are planted. Before planting, soak the roots for thirty minutes in tepid water to which liquid kelp has been added. This will help with transplant shock. The water in which the roots are soaked may be added to the water applied to the roots of the trees after planting. Clip off any damaged roots before planting. 

Once the trees are planted, be sure to water regularly if the soil dries between rainfalls. At six inches below the surface, the soil should always feel moist to the touch (but not soggy). Adequate water from rain or artificial irrigation is essential to the survival of trees, especially during the first three years after planting.

 

H. Michael Simmons,
Orchard Education Co-Chair
Advanced Master Gardener