I never realized how tricky it was to plant fruit trees, until I got older and started planting some of our own. There is so much to learn, and hopefully a few of these tips will help get you pointed in the right direction. If you’re wanting to plant an orchard, you’ll need to really plan it out ahead of time, making sure that all your trees have the right pollination.
1. Figure out how much space you have. If you don’t have a big property, then you can plant dwarf trees, which take up less space in your yard and can thrive in pots, or consider berry bushes to provide a homegrown fruit fix. (if you want full sized trees, they need to be planted 8 ft. apart)
2. Make sure your trees are self pollinating. If you have trees that need to be pollinated or cross pollinated, and they aren’t planted in the right places, you might only end up with blossoms. Nectarines, peaches, and citrus trees are popular self-pollinators.
3. You will have better luck planting a starter, rather than a seed. You’ll also get fruit quicker. Apple trees take at least 4 years to start producing fruit. A pear tree starts out slowly, but after 25 years, it’ll produce up to 2,250 pounds of fruit each year.
4. When in doubt, plant 2 of the same species of trees next to each other, plant 2 compatible varieties. When doing this try to choose varieties that have different picking times, so that you have a spread of fruit through the season.
5. If you are planting trees together to cross-pollinate, they need to be less than 100 feet apart. This ensures the bees will not only find the cross-pollinator, but also be able to fly to it without problems. Pollination can occur when the trees are further apart, but fruit production may be stunted due to the greater distance between pollinators.
6. Where you plant your trees, in relation to sunlight, and shade is very crucial. Fruit trees need a location in the yard where they receive at least six hours of sunlight daily during active growing.