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Ok, husband has gone and bought two of every kind of fruit tree he can find in the dwarf type. I have been watering them and letting them rest from the ride home. What are recommendations on types of fertilizer to put in holes when I set them? Want to get them off to a good start. Thank you. Silver
 

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I wouldn't put anykind of commercial fertilizer the first year, if you have some aged compost that would be good.
 

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From Texas A&M University -

If planted in the fall when trees break dormancy (i.e. get leaves) you apply 1 cup of 21-0-0 (ammonium sulfate) fertilizer four 4 coinsecutive months. In the Hill Country of Texas that is March - June. Second year same as first. Third year 1 pound of fertilizer per caliper inch of trunk at drip line. Fourth year and for then on 2 pounds per caliper inch at drip line for the same four months.

they recommend no amendment to soil when planting - I add rabbit poop and compost. 3 years ago they recommended amending the hole - now no - soon probably amend again - everything comes around and around.
 

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The basic reason to not amend while planting is that most people do it incorrectly. Generally most people dig the whole and fertilizer, organic mater or whatever to the hole only. This first creates a little micro area in the soil that is unlike the nutrition of the surrounding area its best for the tree to begin to adapt the area. The amending also creates an area of different soil texture than the surrounding which can cause water drainage issues due to capillary flow.
That being said it is good to plant woody material into soils where the area has been amended. Just avoid creating plant pockets tha differ from the surronding soil. A good time to fertilize is late summer, early fall as this is when root growth is most active.
 

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Missouri Extension is not recommending amending at planting time either. Just backfill with the original soil, watering and tamping to eliminate air pockets. One interesting thing I saw was a reference to some trees planted at Monticello during Jefferson's life. The clay soil had been dug with a shovel and the sides of the holes had more or less "glazed" making a pot for the tree. Its roots didn't penetrate the glaze and grew round and round in the hole until they girdled themselves and died. The suggestion was to use a digging fork to break the soil surface rather than cut it.

I'm a strict organic gardener (comes from growing up in cotton country and being exposed to just about every ag 'cide known to man) so only fertilize my trees with compost and the mulch I put on them each year. My compost is made from pretty varied materials so I don't worry about trace nutrients. Most of our apples are semi-dwarf and were bought from a family owned nursery when it went out of business. When I say they were "whips, what I actually mean is that some were only 8-10" tall when planted in 2000. This was their first season to bloom and set fruit. Can't wait to try some of the varieties.
 
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