Growing Fruit? Here’s What to Look For
Fruit trees are great for a ton of reasons. They add a splash of personality to your yard, and they produce delicious, natural food that you can enjoy. In order for fruit trees to thrive, you’ll need to take proper care of them, though.
Growing fruit trees for the first time? Need a refresher on how to help fruit trees grow tall and produce juicy, healthy food? Read below for basic recommendations on how to take care of fruit trees.
Fruit Trees: How (and Why) They Work
The reason that some trees produce fruit is to encourage seed dispersal. In other words, it’s a built-in survival mechanism for each tree species. Since fruit is edible – or, in its early stages, appears edible to animals – it is consumed, and its seeds are dispersed throughout the ground via the animals’ feces. Then, more trees are able to grow.
READ MORE: How to Prepare Trees For Summer
What Kinds of Fruit Can Grow on Trees?
There are dozens and fruits that can grow on trees, but the most popular tend to be apples, oranges, mangoes, lemons, pears, apricots, coconuts, plums, cherries, and peaches.
Some less-than-common fruits can grow on trees as well, like guava, jackfruit, and durian.
Steps to Take Care of Fruit Trees
In order to ensure that your trees grow tall and healthy and that they produce fruit that ripens easily without an abundance of rotten spots, consider the steps below.
Pruning essentially means trimming branches, and you’ll need ‘pruners’ (or similar trimming tools) as well as a ladder and safety gear to complete this step.
First, cut off any branches that grow straight up into the air – cut these from the base, as they grow quickly and limit fruit production.
Then, cut off diseased or dead tree branches, as these can spread pests and diseases to nearby branches and trees.
Next, cut branches that are twisted, as these prevent proper airflow to fruit.
Finally, trim your tree to the shape and size you prefer. Remember, you’ll be picking the fruit manually, so you’ll want branches that create a simple experience for you and make it easy to reach your fruit.
Irrigation is another word for watering. Like plants, herbs, and other trees, fruit trees need watering in order to help fruit grow and ensure that it is edible and juicy.
In many regions, tree growers prefer to use a ‘drip irrigation’ system. That means that the water is dispersed in the right areas automatically. Since each tree type differs on what water-based needs it has, research your particular type of tree and determine whether automatic watering or manual watering is the right move. Your region and its amount of rainfall also play a role.
For your fruit tree to maintain healthy growth, you’ll need to choose the right mulch. This product stops roots from growing out of bare soil, and it retains moisture – this is a must to produce juicy, flavourful fruit.
Research the needs of your fruit tree type and determine which type of mulch is recommended.
Any tree needs fertilizer to ensure that it gets all the nutrients it needs. For fruit trees, this is particularly important, as it affects the fruit’s structure, taste, and ability to be eaten.
Fortunately, fertilizing is a low-maintenance process, as it’s only required once or twice a year.
Checking For Pests
Moreso than other trees, fruit trees attract pests due to the food they bear. They can eat all of the fruit before it grows, or consume them partially, causing rot. They can even cause damage and disease in your trees. For that reason, it’s crucial that you regularly search your trees for pests.
Which Fruit Trees are the Easiest To Take Care of?
If you’re a beginner hoping to grow your first successful fruit tree, we recommend something with low maintenance that has a high chance of success. Typically, beginners find that pear, apple, and fig trees are the easiest to work with – but you may challenge yourself to try something harder if you wish.
How Do I Know When Fruit is Safe to Eat?
The specific answer to this question will depend on what kind of fruit you are growing. However, there are general strategies you can use to determine whether the fruit is ripe. You should consider the colour, size, and taste of the fruit to decide whether or not it is ready to eat.
READ MORE: The Top Reasons For Tree Removal
Fruit trees are a great way to add some colour to your yard and feed yourself.
For all of your tree-related questions, contact Green Thumb today.