Planting a Specialty Fruit Tree

Avocado, Apple, Cherry, Peach, Pear, Plum, Mango, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine, etc.

Choose where you want to plant your tree. Trees should be kept 8-12 feet away from any obstacles in the home setting. Know that MOST trees do not like standing water. MANY trees prefer well-draining soil, so a high spot in the area may work if the area is well-draining. Full sun will also work best for sunlight, but a 50% sunny area should suffice. Planting on the south side of a structure (house, building) will generally offer some protection from cold weather.

Prep your location. Clear away any weeds, grass, or debris and dig a hole roughly 8-10 inches wider than the pot your tree came in and approximately the same depth that your pot is. Prep the hole by filling with water and letting it drain while you get your tree ready to plant; this will help remove any air pockets when planting your tree.

Plant the tree. Remove the tree from the pot it has come in. Place the tree in the hole and position it the way you like. Make sure the tree roots are even with the top of the ground. DO NOT PLANT THE TREE ANY DEEPER THAN WHAT THE NURSERY POT IS. In other words, do not plant your tree with any of the trunk under the ground. 

Add soil.  Add your soil back into the hole, and be sure to fill all air pockets under and around the root mass. Air pockets are not good for the trees’ root structure, so be sure to remove any.



After a week or two, check the tree soil level and add soil if needed. Many times there will be settling, and this is due to compaction. Adding a little soil over the root of the root ball will cover exposed roots and help the tree sustain itself.

Choose a container. If replanting, go ahead and choose a pot that is a few inches larger than the one your tree has come in. Generally, deciding on a pot that is taller than the tree root ball will be best.

Select soil. Find a well-draining soil. Many of the soils for cactus are good as they will be built to stay on the drier side. Any soil blend will suffice just as long as it can drain well.  Mixing soil with wood chips and or small mulch will work well. Just be sure not to use soil with moisture control.

Planting your tree. Place soil in the bottom of your pot where the tree will sit, and be sure there is an inch or two of clearance around the top of the pot for when you are finished. DO NOT PLANT TREE PAST WHERE THE PREVIOUS POT TOP WAS.

Add soil. Continue to add soil blend into the pot around the tree. Stopping to compact the soil to remove any air pockets lightly. Fill the soil to be even with the top of the root ball for finish.



After a week or two, check the tree soil level and add soil if needed. Many times there will be settling, and this is due to compaction. Adding a little soil over the root of the root ball will cover exposed roots and help the tree sustain itself. BE SURE THE LEAVE AN INCH OR SO FROM THE SOIL TO THE TOP OF THE POT.

In The Ground – Water at Planting

Watering your tree will be a critical stage. Once planted water your tree regularly. Daily for the first week or two and every 2-4 days for the first few months (2-3 months). If rain happens there is no need to water. In any instance be sure to let the soil dry down a bit from the time of watering.

In A Container – Water at Planting

WATER YOUR TREE THOUROUGHLY. Be sure to water the first few weeks regularly so the tree can establish itself. Thereafter, water at least once a week and maybe more. A good rule of thumb is to stick your finger a knuckle deep and if the tip is dry you need to water. DO NOT LET TREES STAND IN UNDRAINING WATER.

NPK Plant Food Fertilizer

DO NOT MIX FERTILIZER IN HOLE OR CONTAINER. Spread your fertilizer on the top of the soil after planting. A control-release fertilizer will be best as it is continuous feed which means your tree will get the nutrients and minor elements needed every time it is watered.

Plant Food Supplement (a.k.a. vitamins) 

Many specialty fruit trees are heavy feeders. They will thrive in an environment that is getting constant fertilizer. We recommend a control-release plant food that releases nutrients over time. PLANT FOOD SUPPLEMENTS ARE ENCOURRAGED AS FEEDING MICRONUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTS HELP GET THE TREE WHAT IT NEEDS FOR HEALTH, VIGOR AND FRUIT SET.

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