The best time for planting fruit trees often depends upon the climate of an area where the trees are to be planted. While young trees can be planted at any time the ground is not frozen, they are more likely to thrive when planted in cooler weather. Fruit trees should be planted in well-drained soil, and in an area where they will receive a minimum of six hours of natural sunlight during the growing season. Other factors to consider include root development, fruit tree care, and landscaping.
Fruit trees can be planted at virtually any time of the year, though most find that young trees planted during cooler months seem to do better than those planted in warm weather. Many people choose to plant fruit trees a couple of months before the first frost. Planting fruit trees before the warm season allows them to develop a stronger root system before heat and insects can attack them.
The depth at which fruit trees are planted is important to ensure adequate root development. Dig a hole approximately 18 inches (approximately 46 cm) deep. Soil around the inside of the hole should be loosened, and compost should be placed in the bottom. The fruit tree should then be gently placed in the hole with the roots spread out evenly. Some feel that a square hole allows more room for young roots to grow.
Fruit trees should be planted in soil with good drainage. They will not thrive in soil that drains slowly. Digging a hole about 1 foot (approximately 0.3 m) deep is a good method to test soil drainage. After filing the hole with water, wait for it to drain. If the water has not completely drained within a three hour time period, the soil drainage is too slow and the fruit trees will likely not do well if planted in the area.
Protecting fruit trees from the elements is an important factor to consider. Very young trees that might not have had a chance to establish strong roots before the ground freezes can be protected by wrapping the trunks. Spreading a layer of mulch around the trees can also protect the roots from freezing weather. To ward off any possible wildlife in search of a snack, place fences or chicken wire around the fruit trees.
Fruit trees can play an integral role in landscaping. Not only should fruit trees be planted in an area with proper drainage and adequate sunlight, they should be planted in a place where they will be enjoyed. Those planting fruit trees should be certain that the the tree is planted in a satisfactory area. It is not wise to transplant a tree once the root system has been established.