New Fruit Trees

Can’t believe it’s tree planting time already- been such a mild winter, the ground isn’t frozen and the days are lengthening.  The two trees that we ordered this winter from Stark Bro’s arrived the other day, and were in great shape.

The came bare-rooted and pruned (quite heavily) well.  The instructions said to soak the tree for a few hours to help hydrate it, then plant it up right away.

This first one was the winter banana apple tree, and was a little under 4 feet tall.  It’s a dwarf tree, only growing to 10 feet, and flowers at the same time as our 2 year old honeycrisp planted 10 feet away.  The soil wasn’t that bad since this is on top of a retaining wall we put in, so i only had to add a few scoops of compost and worm castings.

The other tree is the dwarf Blushingstar peach, and went on the sidewalk strip in front of the house.  We had to get a permit from DC since it’s the public right of way. As you

probably guessed, the soil out there was pretty poor, just a few inches of dark topsoil, then sand clay.  As they say, you need a $10 hole for a $5 tree- giving the roots plenty of good soil to spread into.  I skimmed off the grass, taking away the competition for nutrients, and removed half the soil.  Mixing in 10 shovels(!) of compost, the soil finally looked decent, and i popped the tree into the hole.  When were finished, it looked like we just planted a stick!  I wouldn’t have pruned the tree that hard, but it has some fat roots and a thick trunk on it, so i guess it’ll be fine.  This style of pruning will give me a wine glass shaped or open centered tree, which i prefer.  This allows more light and air into the center of the tree, giving more well ripened fruit and less mildew issues.

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About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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