Do you dream of picking a crisp apple or juicy peach from a tree right in your own backyard? Planting a fruit tree can be a rewarding—and delicious—endeavor, but to ensure that your investment really does bear fruit, do your homework first.
Listen to BOB VILA ON FRUIT TREES or read the text below:
First, choose the right kind of tree. One important consideration is a tree’s chilling requirement—the minimum period of cold weather, measured in hours, a tree needs to produce blossoms in the spring. Your region must provide enough cold days to meet the requirement.
On the flip side, many trees (for example, citrus trees) can’t handle cold temperatures at all. It’s safest to opt for varieties that you’ve seen growing well in your area. Your local nursery or your nearest Cooperative Extension office can guide you.
Also consider pollination. Some varieties are self-fertile—they’ll produce fruit even if you have only one tree. Others require pollination with a different variety of the same fruit species. In an area with many fruit trees, your tree will probably have a good pollination partner nearby; in isolated areas, or where there are no similar species around, you may need to plant an appropriate companion. Just make certain the bloom seasons overlap!
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