Fruit Tree Planting Time Is Now

Fruit Tree Planting

February and fruit trees go together like Valentine’s Day and chocolates!

As one of the rainiest months of the year, it’s also one of the busiest for gardeners. Heavy rains can reach tree roots and get rid of irrigation water salts, making this the perfect month to plant fruit trees and rose bushes.

However, it’s best to do the actual planting in dry soil, so wait for a dry spell before you think of doing any planting. You can squeeze a fistful of soil to see if it sticks together — if it does, it’s still a little too wet.

This time of year presents other weather problems too, however, like gusty winds. If any limbs break off of your fruit trees, you might need to prune them to re-balance them. A lopsided tree can look silly, or at worst, topple over.

Garden Prep

In February, you can find a lot of bare-root trees and plants for sale. Bare-root trees have no soil or leaves at the roots. You might find them in boxes, bags or packaged containers from the nursery.

If you do notice some leaves beginning to show, it’s all right to snap them off. New sprouts will come out shortly. However, if you get the package home and you don’t see many roots, return these plants. You need an abundance of roots for the plant to get entrenched in the soil.

Both deciduous fruit trees and roses will need yearly pruning during their leafless stages. Otherwise, the flowers and fruits won’t be as abundant.

If you have roses, know that different types require different pruning (and some don’t need any at all). Encourage new growth by getting rid of old branches so that sun and air can filter in ― aim for a vase shape. A dormant spray to ward off bugs and pests can be used on leafless fruit trees and rose bushes.

Dressing Up the Yard

In addition to fruit trees and roses, February is also a great time to plant camellias. They grow almost immediately after flowering, and your local nursery likely will have an abundance of camellias in stock.

Plant them high, with one inch of root ball showing above the ground. Planting them too deeply can easily kill them during this important time. Besides this one quirk, camellias are impressively durable and tough.

The planting season has just begun, but spring will be here before you know it. Get a head start on your spring bounty by making sure your existing fruit trees are in good shape, and that any newly planted trees, roses or camellias get off to a strong and healthy start. If you prefer to let the pros handle the planting and trimming, call Reliable Tree Care — your local experts on fruit trees.