fruit trees arriving soon...advice?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by sisterpine, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Greetings from southwest montana! I have a dozen fruit trees arriving anyday from a nursery called "st. lawrence nursery" in new york. i am certain they will be very small thin bear root trees that have recently gone dormant. 3 apple 3 plum and 3 pear. I am wondering if i need to do anything to the trunks to get them through our harsh winter? They are rated and bred in zone 3 and will be planting them in our zone 4 area. Just finished digging 9 big holes in frozen ground (rolling eyes) what a joy! But have been waiting a long time for these trees and dont want to lose them the first winter!
     
  2. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Our directions didn't say anything about protecting the trunks accept from animals. I would think that the nursery would send you complete instructions for planting and caring for your new trees. I have never planted in the fall.
     

  3. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I bought fruit trees: 2 plum, 2 apple (different types) and 2 peaches. I had an idea of drilling out the rock and dirt with auger, and replacing with good compost. The nursey said it was better to just use the original dirt. Said the roots will not grow out of the compost and become root bound.
     
  4. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    The advice given by nurseries here in northern Colorado is to give your new transplants plenty of water even though they have no leaves and look dormant. The tree will grow roots during this time. And anytime this winter that you don't have snow cover, take the opportunity to deep water the trees -- they'll thank you in the spring by showing you how healthy they are!

    So which varieties did you order from St. Lawrence?
     
  5. Kevin and Laura

    Kevin and Laura Well-Known Member

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    We too are going to be planting dormant fruit trees this fall. What is meant by "deep watering"? Is this any different than just running the hose at the plant until saturated well? Inquiring tree planters want to know...


    Kevin & Laura
     
  6. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    If you mean deep watering, as in once a week for new trees, then you have it right (just be sure to run the hose very slowly- barely a trickle and water until no more water will absorb into the ground).

    If you mean deep watering, at planting time, fill the hole with water and let it all seep in. Fill the hole again, let it seep into the ground again. Then plant the tree and water well.
     
  7. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

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    The nursery gave you good advice. I lost 2 cherry trees and one fig this year, because I replaced the dirt with compost. I've ordered more for next spring, but you can be sure I won't make that mistake, again! That was an expensive lesson!
     
  8. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    You may want to do two things.
    First, white wash the trunks. That will prevent the bark from splitting
    when the tree is frozen, but the sun warms the bark. You can white
    wash with half latex paint and half water, then just paint it on the
    trunk.
    Second, you will want to put guards around the trees so that
    mice, moles, voles, rabbits, etc. don't chew on the bark and girdle the tree.
    When there is snow, rabbits will stand on top of the snow and
    chew away, so put them high enough. You should be able to purchase these.
    Good luck.
    Ann
     
  9. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

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    Got em' in the ground yesterday. I'll bet I moved the pots 20 times while decided where to plant them! Thanks anniew for the idea about trunk guards. I'm assuming the paint is black color to absorb the sun warmth?

    Gayle, thanks for sharing your experiance. Although I did as I was told, part of me thought the dirt advice from the nursey lady was poo-poo.

    Should the little trees get trickle water every day? Or is this too much? These are my first fruit trees.
     
  10. BeckyW

    BeckyW Well-Known Member

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    Soak your trees once or twice a week. Set the hose on a slow trickle, like a drip system almost, so that water is absorbed into the soil without run offs. If the temperatures are above freezing, let the hose run 24 hours (if freezing night temperatures then turn off hose, drain it it and run it again all day on the next warm-enough day.) If you can run your hose almost a full 24 hours, you should only need to water once a week. Every day is too much and probably too shallow.

    If you got the trees in over the weekend, you were just in time. High today was 35 degrees in northern Colorado and a cold wind all day. I heard one forecast predict lows tonight of 7 degrees -- but I'm wondering if that wasn't up in the mountains rather than the plains. We'll easily drop into the mid-low 20s tonight. No snow here but plenty at the ski resorts! Our eldest daughter went snowboarding over the weekend. Three ski resorts already open!

    BW
     
  11. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the water advice BW. I'm pretty excited about it.
     
  12. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    NO, the trees should be painted with white paint mixed half with
    water. You want to reflect the sun (heat) off the trunk, so that it
    doesn't expand when the inside is still frozen, thus causing cracking.
    Ann
     
  13. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Planted my 9 baby trees this morning! It was 20 degrees with a 35 mph wind! Boy was that cold! I pryed up as much frozen ground as i could and put it in the hole but ended up having to use some compost anyway. Sure hope it does not kill my babies! I hauled 6 gal's of water out to each tree and will try to do the same tomorrow. Nursery said the water now ill help the dirt pack around the roots and remove the air which the trees will like better. Keeping my fingers crossed! I will mix up some whitewash within the next few days, have no idea yet where to get 4 ' tall hardware cloth? Will hve to reasearch that next week as well. Thanks for all the advice! My trees arrived looking very healthy by the way and well packaged from the new york nursery!