When you want to plant a fruit tree in your garden, you can grow your own tree from a cutting or seed, or you can plant a tree that you have purchased from a garden center or nursery. More orchard growers transplant trees from nurseries or garden centers than do grow their own trees. By purchasing nursery grown trees, you can skip the time it takes to raise a seed and nurture it to a sapling.
Determine your USDA hardiness growing zone. Your USDA hardiness growing zone will determine what types of fruit trees you can purchase. For example, Lime trees will not grow outside of USDA hardiness zone 11, and many other citrus trees will not grow in zones colder than zone 8. You can find a map with USDA hardiness growing zones online at the USDA or on planting tags sold with many fruit trees.
Consider weather conditions for your area when selecting fruit varieties. Many fruit varieties need a certain number of cold-weather days and a certain amount of sunny weather to produce fruit. Although your region may be warm enough for a fruit tree to thrive, your weather conditions may not be ideal for the tree to produce fruit.
Contact your agricultural extension service to determine what diseases and pests are a problem for local fruit production. A county extension agent can recommend hybrid fruit tree varieties that are resistant to these diseases and problems, as well as making recommendations for the best variety of fruit to plant.
Determine which types of fruit you prefer to grow based on the limitations that you've discovered in Steps 1 and 2.
Contact local nurseries to find out which varieties of fruit trees that they carry. Select local nurseries if possible. Although large chain home improvement stores carry fruit trees in the spring, the selection may be limited. A local nursery is more likely to carry plants that are adapted to your climate and resistant to local diseases or pests.
Inspect your tree before purchase if possible. A fruit tree should have a strong central leader and be free of diseases.
Arrange for payment and delivery of your tree. Some nurseries will ship bare root trees by courier, or deliver a bulk purchase of trees to your address. Otherwise, you may wish to bring a moving van, pickup truck or other transport to bring your fruit tree home. Select an appropriate transport. Improper transporting of your tree can damage the tree's limbs, bark or roots.