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How to Plant a Fruit Tree

Hey fellow gardeners! We know there’s probably still some snow on your ground, as winter is hitting the U.S. pretty hard this year. But despite all the winter storms, snow and ice, we thought we’d brighten the mood with some talk of spring and what’s to come! Soon your gardens will be green, your flowers will be blooming, and your vegetables and fruits will be producing delicious treats.

Fruit Trees and Nut Trees So in the spirit of the coming spring, today we’re going to give you some basic instructions on planting fruit trees. Fruit trees can be planted in either fall or early spring, as soon as the ground frost has thawed

Step 1: Make sure your site is prepped and ready to go

Clear all weeds and grass away by killing them off the season prior, or by pulling them all out of the ground.

Step 2: Dig that hole

Make sure your soil is nice and pliable; not too wet or clumping together, and not too dry or sandy. The depth of the hole should be about 12” to 14”, depending on the size of your tree’s roots. Trees ordered from Gurney’s Seed & Nursery and most other nurseries come with a planting depth indicator on the stock.

Step 3: Plant the tree

Now it’s time for your tree to go in the ground. Place the stringy roots at the bottom of the hole, and make sure the roots are spread out and evenly distributed. Now, back fill the hole with a layer of the ground’s natural soil, then a layer of some leaf mold or compost, then another layer of the soil. Repeat this until the soil/compost mixture reaches the top of the planting indicator. Be sure not to pack the soil mixture too tightly, as you’ll want to allow room for the water to get down to the tree’s root system.

Now, water that tree! Slowly water the soil around the tree and watch as the soil settles. If it is a particularly windy or sunny day, feel free to put a layer of mulch around the tree to protect the planting.


4 comments to How to Plant a Fruit Tree

  • Steve

    I planted a few trees a couple of years back, now they are growing outward like crazy. I’m concerned the weight of the fruit will break the branch this coming fall. Is there a trick to pruning the trees? How short should each branch be trimmed? Is there a way to get the braches to grow in a more upward direction? Can I just support the branch and let it continue its horizontal growth?

  • Kathleen Segall

    Dear Folks at Gurney’s:

    Several years ago I bought an apple and a cherry tree from you. Actually the cherry was part of a special offer in which I could choose a free item from one page if I bought an item from another. I bought the apple to get the cherry for free and the apple survived the first year but the cherry died. Although the cherry was a free item, you cheerfully replaced it and both apple and cherry have been going strong for years now.
    I just wanted to praise your wonderful response to my request and to praise the hardiness of these trees. My yard has been invaded by some of the most damaging insects—peach borers (both kinds) among them. They attacked two plum trees several roses and privets, buddleias and your two trees. Only your trees survived. They soldier on and delight me and the birds each year.
    Thank you for making my yard a happy place.


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  • i am also a plant lover just love plants and love to play with them i mean to water them an d to clay them..

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