The Best Times to Plant Fruit Trees
Fruit trees are a welcome addition to the home landscape. They bloom profusely in spring with sweetly scented flowers and produce edible fruit in late summer and fall. Many varieties are available in dwarf form, which make them easier to prune, train and harvest. Treat them well by planting at the proper time and your fruit trees will live for many years.
Plant bare root or balled and burlapped fruit trees approximately one month before the average date of your last killing spring frost. This includes all deciduous, non-tropical fruits, such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and plums.
Fruit trees with bare roots or those that are balled and burlapped can be planted in fall approximately one month after the first hard freeze of the season. With the exception of frost-sensitive tropical fruits, you can now safely plant all deciduous trees such as apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots and plums.
Spring, Summer, Fall
Some varieties of fruit trees, such as apples, are available growing in containers. Because these trees are already in active growth, they can be safely planted anytime during the growing season when temperatures are expected to remain in the 70s or cooler for two to three weeks after planting.
Time Of Year Do You Plant Fruit Trees?
Planting times for fruit trees vary according to your climate and how the tree was prepared for planting. Bare-root trees must be planted when the tree is dormant, usually in late winter or early spring. Burlapped and potted fruit trees can be planted nearly any time of year in mild climates, and in spring and summer in harsher climates. Figs and pomegranates are hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10 and 11, respectively, while sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and other citrus trees are hardy in zones 9 through 11. Select species and varieties appropriate for your hardiness zone. Select a sunny, well-drained location in the garden or yard. Fill the planting hole with water, and allow it to soak into the soil. Do not add any amendments to the soil. Trim any broken or dead roots. Spread the tree's roots gently and lower it onto the mound. Tamp the soil and water thoroughly.
- West Virginia University: Planting & Care of Fruit Trees
- University of Illinois Extension: Small Fruit Crops for the Backyard
- PennState Extension: Spring Fruit Tree Planting Tips for the Home Garden
- Michigan State University Extension: Planting Fruit Trees
- FloriData: Citrus Sinensis
- Floridata: Ficus Carica
- Floridata: Punica Granatum
- Fruit Trees: Home
- Stark Bro's: How to Plant a Bare-Root Tree
- University of California Master Gardeners of Ventura County: Planting and Care of Young Citrus Trees