Even the most well-groomed, beautiful and even garden plot will look “naked” and empty without trees. The beds on which such healthy vegetables grow are, of course, good, as well as an even green lawn, but after all, fruit trees are no worse!
In fact, the fruit trees that grow in your garden serve several functions at once: each year they bring a bountiful harvest of vitamin-rich fruits, decorate your backyard and create shaded areas. And how beautiful the trees look in spring, covered with white or pink fragrant flowers! Just for the sake of such a spectacle, it is worth buying a few seedlings, so that in a couple of years to see the results of your labors.
How to set up an orchard in a small area? What seedlings and when is it better to plant? What should you pay attention to when choosing a site for a future apple or pear? The RMNT website will answer these and other questions in detail..
It is not for nothing that the beginning of sakura blossoming in Japan is becoming a national holiday. And what is worse than our apples and cherries? It’s also incredibly beautiful!
Choosing a place for planting trees
The most common mistake of novice gardeners and inexperienced summer residents is to plant trees without carefully calculating the distance to nearby objects, just wherever you want. Do you know the situation when a previously small and neat pear tree grew incredibly, and in August it was impossible to walk through the yard, since juicy pears began to “bombard”, and wasps and bees literally filled the area, attracted by the scent of fallen ripe pears? If not, consider yourself lucky and the trees on your site were planted wisely.
Most often, the reason for cutting down fruit trees is not that they have grown old and stopped yielding, but rather an unsuccessful planting site.
Most importantly, remember that, for example, an adult apple tree of such varieties as “Antonovka Obytochnaya” or “Autumn striped” has a rather large crown and will occupy an area of about eight by six meters, and stone fruit trees, growing, will shade an area of about five three meters.
Distance from the tree to the fence and other objects on the site
Experts advise planting fruit trees at a distance of at least five meters from the house – the root system of a large apple or pear tree can in the future begin to destroy the foundation of the building, and the branches of the crown will knock on the roof during the wind, breaking slate and brick pipes.
Planting a tree just near the path is also not an option, in the future the roots can destroy the path, and the branches can interfere with the passage to the beds. By planting a tree right next to the fence of the site, you will voluntarily give almost half of the harvest to your neighbors, since it will be problematic to collect fruits. In addition, using such a convenient “ladder”, intruders can climb to your site.
It is advisable to plant a fruit tree at least three meters from the fence, otherwise the crop will definitely have to be shared with the neighbors. If you are on good terms and they do not mind additional shade on your site, you can choose this option. Otherwise, a conflict is possible, which may end with the cutting down of a healthy and fruitful tree.
Thus, according to the advice of experienced gardeners, in the collective garden, fruit trees are placed on such aisles: for an apple tree and a pear – six by four meters (if dwarf tree seedlings are chosen, then the distance can be reduced to four by three meters), for cherries and plums – three by two and a half meters. The optimal distance to the fence is three meters.
One more thing – you won’t be able to break the beds under the trees, only weeds will grow in such a thick shade. And, for example, under walnuts, the roots of which grow both inward, and upward, and in breadth, taking all the nutrients from the soil and leaving nothing to the “neighbors”, even the most picky grass does not grow. So the tree should be separated from the beds by the same three to six meters. Moreover, it is better to place the future garden on the north side of the garden – in this case, the trees will shade the area less, on the contrary, they will protect the vegetables from cold winds.
An apple tree or a pear should be at least five meters away from the house. It is these sanitary standards that are established for planting trees in cities, it is worth following this principle on your site
And yet – if your site has an uneven relief and there is a slope, then in the lower part it is better to plant a plum, which is characterized by high winter hardiness and increased demands on moisture and soil fertility, and in the middle part – cherries, sweet cherries, peaches and apricots. In the upper part of the slope, sea buckthorn and drought-resistant plants will feel great.
Going to the market for seedlings of fruit trees, immediately decide for yourself what exactly you would like to grow on your site. So, we need an apple tree, a cherry, a cherry, a walnut, a pear and a plum. It is these fruit trees that are most popular in the middle lane. In the south, of course, there is more choice, here you can plant peaches, quince, cherry plum and other thermophilic trees.
In any case, whatever you decide to plant – apple varieties Jonathan or Golden, Honey or Tavricheskaya pear, black cherry or other varieties – remember that when choosing seedlings, you should carefully study the state of the plant.
Apple trees can be safely called the most common fruit trees in our country.
Today, seedlings are usually grafted trees consisting of rootstock and scion. The lower part – the roots and part of the trunk to the grafting site – this is the stock, that is, the breadwinner of the plant, which is grown from seeds or rooted cuttings.
The graft is the aboveground part of a cultivated plant. Such a symbiosis, when, for example, two varieties of apple trees, growing together, complement each other, gives the most hardy plants with the best qualities..
Annual apple tree seedlings
When choosing a fruit tree seedling, you need to pay attention to the following criteria:
- Age. Of course, you can purchase an already fruiting ten-year-old seedling. However, such mature trees can only be purchased in a tub or with a sufficiently large clod of earth – otherwise they simply will not take root. And it is difficult to transport large trees. Therefore, gardeners usually choose one- or two-year-old seedlings, and the age of the tree is determined by its aboveground part – the stock may be older.
- Boom diameter. The stem supports the crown of the tree and is responsible for delivering nutrients to the leaves and branches. Its diameter in a healthy two-year-old seedling, for example, an apple tree, is two centimeters, and its height is about 50 centimeters. In low-growing stone fruit trees, the diameter of the trunk is at least one centimeter. The stem must be even, without build-up and damage.
- The number of side shoots, as well as their length. One-year-old seedlings may not have shoots at all, but two-year-olds should have at least three branches..
- The state of the root system. The length of the main roots should not be less than 30 centimeters on rootstocks grown from seed, and 25 centimeters on vegetatively propagated stocks. There should be no sagging or cracking on the roots.
Such large, perennial fruit tree seedlings are always sold with huge clods of soil or in tubs. It is difficult to transport them, and they take root worse than annuals
Experts believe that it is most profitable to buy annual seedlings – they are much cheaper and usually take root best. If there is a nursery near you, then it is best to go there for young trees, however, there is a fairly large selection of high-quality seedlings in the markets. And remember, you should buy tree varieties that are common in your region, as well as grown in similar climatic conditions..
According to professionals, it is possible to plant seedlings of fruit trees in autumn and spring. However, if winters are too cold in your region, then this can be a serious test for a young tree, therefore planting is better to postpone at least until April. But in the southern regions it is better to plant trees in autumn..
Before proceeding directly to planting seedlings, it is necessary to prepare fertilizers that will help the tree to take root in a new place. And before planting, it is worth lowering the seedling for several hours in the water – during the trip and being in the market, it lost a lot of liquid.
Mineral fertilizers, of course, can be used, however, you need to carefully monitor that they do not fall on the roots of the tree in their pure form – this can lead to burns and the seedling will not take root.
Experts advise to prepare the following fertilizer mixture for pear and apple seedlings:
- Two or three buckets of humus or compost.
- Three to four buckets of peat chips.
- One kilogram of superphosphate granules.
- One kilogram of woody zone, which can be replaced with 150 grams of potassium sulfate.
For cherry seedlings and plums, the following mixture is suitable:
- One or two buckets of humus or compost.
- 300 grams of superphosphate granules.
- 40 grams of potassium chloride.
- About 400 grams of wood ash.
If you are an opponent of mineral fertilizers, just two or three buckets of compost or humus will be enough. And yet – before planting, remove the broken roots, and cut off the ends of the rest.
It is better to plant trees together – while one supports the tree in an upright position, the second will fill in the earth and tamp it to secure the seedling.
When digging a hole for planting, remember that the root collar, that is, the place where the roots of the tree are connected to the trunk, should not be covered with earth, its “rightful place” is exactly at the level of the ground surface. So you shouldn’t dig too deep, estimate the size of the seedling and its root system, dig a small hole and try on the location of the tree – if necessary, the hole can always be quickly deepened. It is better when trying to hold the seedling so that the root collar is three to five centimeters from the ground – after the soil is compacted, it will drop just to the desired mark.
One person can plant a small seedling, but together it will definitely be more convenient and more fun
Usually, for one- and two-year-old apple and pear seedlings, a hole is dug about 80 centimeters deep and with the same diameter. Such a planting hole is covered by about a third with a prepared mixture of organic and mineral fertilizers, and then a young tree is planted.
Do not forget to shake the tree when planting so that the soil fills all the space between the roots. And in the hole, while it has not yet been filled up, dig in a reliable peg, which will become a support for the still thin seedling. If there is only one peg, you need to bury it from the side of the winds that prevail in your area.
When filling the soil into the planting hole, it is necessary to press down with your foot about every ten centimeters of the soil, tamp it down, but not too hard, without breaking the root system. The seedling must sit securely in the ground so that even with effort it cannot be simply pulled out of the soil.
Thin seedlings are best tied to a reliable support
And finally, the penultimate stage – the new tree just needs to be watered abundantly – at least two buckets of water per seedling.
After watering, the soil around the tree must be mulched, that is, sprinkled with sawdust, straw, peat or humus. This will not allow moisture to evaporate too quickly and will become additional protection for the seedling and a source of useful and nutrients..
If the seedlings were planted in the fall, then it will be possible to assess how well they have rooted in the spring, when leaves begin to appear on young trees
I don’t want to repeat the well-known proverb about a garden, a son and a tree, but still there is something in it – to leave your mark on the earth, to plant a plant that will bear fruit for several decades, to delight two or three generations of the family with a harvest of red apples or juicy pears. Choose a suitable site, pick up seedlings, enjoy the planting process and may your home always be surrounded by a beautiful garden!