Planting fruit trees in the fall

Your Garden 09-17-16

YARMOUTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --  Fall is a great time for planting fruit trees.  It's Tom Estabrooks favorite time to plant them. He says"That's when they root instead of  grow. So you get a good root system underneath the tree for next season's growing. If you plant them in the Spring, they tend to want to grow and produce fruit before they put roots on. So Fall is a great time."

Here are Tom's picks:
 Kindercrisp. A new variety.  Tom loves the taste.  It like most apples must be planted with at least one other variety of apple for cross pollination.  Tom has 19 apple trees in his yard, and 19 varieties. 
When picking an apple tree you want  a well branched plant. You are not looking for something that is overly huge  to start. A tree in a 5 gallon pot will take about five years before you get sizable fruit.  Each year you were going to take the fruit off and let the tree size up. About year three you might be able to leave at three or four apples on. But no more than that.  You want to take the weight off. There is nothing worse than getting three or four years in on your apple tree and then having a heavy wind storm snap a branch because of the heavy apples on that branch.
 Reliance Peach: Yes, peaches can be hardy in Maine. This is a  zone five, which is what coastal Maine is. He also carries Contender and a few others that are zone four. So those can be planted anywhere in Maine. Again you need more than one variety.
Northstar Cherry: Northstar is that it is self pollinating. You don't need a cross a pollinator. 
Pears: Tom likes Early Gold for a more traditional variety. You do need cross pollinators on this kind. They can have fungal problems so use a nice copper sulfate to spray them once in a while to keep the fungal problems down. 
 Asian pears:  Tom loves this new variety.  They look like yellow apples.They eat more like an apple. They are more crisp. These have become much more popular in the market. The nice part about these pears is that they hold quite long compared to your other pears. The other thing is, they are self pollinating to an extent. They do much better fruiting with a pollinator, but if you don't have the space you still will get some fruit. They are also less buggy.
Come in and see us about which pollinators. Also, online, Google is your friend. Put in the variety and it will tell you which varieties to cross pollinate with. And last but not least, it's been so dry. The trees are turning a little early. The birch trees are dropping their leaves already. Get out there, turn on the hose. A lot of you have wells and are concerned about water, but if you have access to water start watering your plants. It is extremely dry out there. You cannot over-water right now.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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