How to Grow Tree Fruit


Growing tree fruit can offer nearly a lifetime of enjoyment, not to mention free food or food available at a great bargain. However, there are also many things to consider before growing such fruit, such as the type of fruit you desire and what species grow in your area. Further, things like soil condition and pests also play a role and some may need constant monitoring. Raising healthy fruit is not something that simply happens; it takes time and effort to get the best crop you can.

Step 1

Find out which plants grow best in your area. Fruit trees can be very picky, requiring hundreds of "chill" hours, where temperatures are below 45 degrees F, or they can require little to no freezing at all. Check your cold hardiness zone (see Resources) choose fruit trees that are comfortable in your zone.

Step 2

Check the acidity and drainage of your soil. You can buy pH test kits at garden centers. The majority of fruit trees require a soil that is slightly acidic. This includes apples, pears and various citrus. In most cases, the soil should also have the ability to drain easily.

Step 3

Plant in the full sun, unless otherwise stated by directions for the species of fruit you are growing. Most fruit produces its sugar, and its taste, through the process of photosynthesis. The more sun the fruit has, the more energy in the form of sugar it produces. These sugars are then used in the production of fruit and other functions of the plant.

Step 4

Water frequently, especially during periods of drought or significant periods between rain. If the soil is dry to the touch or dry within a few inches of the surface, you will need to water the tree. This can be done with a hose or sprinkler system.

Step 5

Watch for different types of fungus that may appear throughout the growing season. Common signs of fungus include leaf discoloration and spotting. Yellowish-brown leaves or spots are particularly common. If you see this, spray a fungicide once every two weeks until the end of the growing season.

Step 6

Monitor any type of insect or fruit tree pests that may infect the tree or fruit. Insects such as fruit flies and spider mites, aphids or other such pests are often easy to see and can be discouraged or killed using an insecticide. These pests may affect the fruit, leaves or wood. Apply this whenever there seems to be a problem.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure any fungicide or insecticide, or combination you get, is specifically safe for fruit trees, or you may risk contaminating your fruit. Do not spray insecticide during leaf bloom or pollination may not happen because bees will not be able to do their jobs.

Things You'll Need

  • Fruit trees
  • Fungicide
  • Insecticide


  • Gardening-Advisor: Soil pH
  • "General Viticulture;" Albert Julius Winkler; 1962
  • LSU Ag Center: When to Apply Fungicide

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
  • University of West Virginia: Index of Fruit Tree Diseases
  • PlanetNatural: Plant pH List
Keywords: growing fruit trees, signs of fungus, fruit tree pests

About this Author

Ken Black is a freelance writer and a staff writer for The Times Republican in Central Iowa. He has written extensively on a variety of topics, including business, politics, family life and travel.