How to Plant a Fruit Tree


Fruit trees come in all sizes and shapes to fit in any landscape. Planting fruit trees in your yard provides you with fresh fruit, right off the tree a few seasons after planting. These trees are often considered ornamental for the various types of leaves, plus the beautiful, colorful and fragrant blossoms appearing before the fruits. Choose fruit trees for your specific USDA hardiness zone and select self-pollinating varieties (if possible) or grow more than one to ensure pollination.

Step 1

Select an area to grow a fruit tree with full sun and well draining soil. Allow enough room for the fruit tree's mature width and height.

Step 2

Cultivate the soil to at least 1 foot, or the depth of the container holding the fruit tree. Extend this out from two to five times the width of the container. This will allow the roots to spread out more easily. Dig a hole in the center of the area, the same depth as the container.

Step 3

Carefully remove the fruit tree from the container and examine the roots. Cut off any damaged or broken roots and untangle any others, if needed.

Step 4

Place the fruit tree in the hole and check to make sure it is at the same level it was in the container. Backfill with the removed soil approximately halfway and then flood with water. This will remove any air in the soil and compress it against the rootball of the fruit tree. Finish filling the hole.

Step 5

Create a watering basin larger than the planting hole, using the remaining soil (and more, if needed). Make the walls several inches high and wide, to retain water.

Step 6

Fill the watering basin with water and allow it to drain. Add more dirt on top of the fruit tree's rootball, if it is exposed after watering, and repair any leaks caused in the basin wall.

Step 7

Cover an area extending 3 feet or more from the tree (or the size of the canopy), in all directions, with 3 to 6 inches of mulch. Keep the mulch 6 inches away from the trunk of the fruit tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not add fertilizer or any other matter to the fruit tree's planting hole, as it may harm the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Mechanized tiller (optional)
  • Knife
  • Pruning shears
  • Mulch


  • University of Maine: Planting and Early Care of Fruit Trees
  • University of California: Fruit Trees: Planting and Care of Young Trees

Who Can Help

  • University of Tennessee: Planting Fruit Trees
  • North Carolina University: Producing Tree Fruite for Home Use
  • University of New Hampshire: Growing Fruit Trees
Keywords: planting fruit trees, grow fruit tree, transplanted fruit tree

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.