This care sheet will be discussing the care of fruit trees that go dormant in winter, such as peaches, pears, plums, etc.
When purchasing a fruit tree, remember that most varieties will ultimately do best and produce more when planted in ground. There are exceptions (dwarf fruit trees, citrus, and avocados) that need more care in our winter time and can do just fine in a container.
- When purchasing your fruit tree, make sure the variety you are getting has all it needs, including the possibility of another tree to pollinate better.
Example: Peaches are self pollinating, but some Plum and Pear varieties need at least two to produce a good fruit yield. Check with a Garden Seventeen team member before checkout to see if you will need to purchase a second plant!
- When planting your fruit tree, make sure that it is 15 feet from other tree canopies & buildings.
- Dig a hole twice as large, but only as deep as the root ball. Throw a big handful of MicroLife Citrus & Fruit Fertilizer in the hole before setting the tree inside. Backfill around the plant. Mulch 2 – 3 inches deep around the tree, but not up against the bark.
- Water in the tree with Liquid Seaweed and let the hose run slowly over the mulch for 15 – 20 minutes so that the entire root ball gets watered. Repeat deep watering the newly planted tree as follows:
– Every day for a week.
– Every other day for a week.
– 2 times a week for a month.
– Then 1 time a week form there on out.
- Fertilize with MicroLife every 3 months and re-mulch every 6 months.
- For the first year, do not do any trimming on the tree. Let it just grow.
- In the early spring before it begins to bud out, spray the bark with dormant oil/horticultural oil. Do this again after fruit appears, and the petals all fall off. Spraying the dormant oil spray will cut down on bug/pest issues. Worms are only treatable before they are in the fruit. Once in the fruit, there isn’t anything to be done, so treat preventatively by keeping the tree healthy!
- During the second winter when the leaves are off the tree, that is the time to do the first pruning and shaping. If you are unsure how or where to cut, take a picture of your tree from different angles and bring into the store. A Garden Seventeen team member will be happy to help you!
- Birds and squirrels will be a common issue when it comes to fruit trees. There is no easy way to keep them off your trees, so just be prepared to lose some production to the critters.
- Most of all, enjoy the moment when you bite into your hard earned fruit!
Fruit Tree Pollination Guide
|VARIETIES||CHILL HOURS||POLLINATE WITH.||NOTES|
|Apples:||Travis County Is in the 600 hour region. |
(450 to 750 range)
|Anna||400||Fuji||Begins producing at early age.|
|Ein Sheimer||350||Anna||Early production. |
Can be self-fertile but will have more production with another apple.
|Fuji||600||Ein Sheimer||160 days from bloom to harvest. Is heat resistant.|
|Blackberries:||Blackberries require well draining soil, are easy to grow in a small area, and can produce spring to fall.|
|Prime Ark||150||Self-Pollination||Thornless & capable of producing 2 crops a year.|
|Blueberries:||Blueberries do not tolerate alkaline soil or water. Thrive best when soil pH is 4.0 to 5.5|
Peat moss, cotton burr compost, pine needle mulch, acidified fertilizers and raised beds are recommended.
|Climax||450||Premier||Rabbit eye varieties generally require a pollenizer.|
Plant two or more varieties to insure a crop. Southern Highbush cannot pollinate Rabbit eye and vice versa.
|Rebel||400||Self-Pollination||Southern Highbush varieties are generally self-fertile, but will produce more if two or three varieties are planted in proximity.|
|Figs:||Figs are very easy to grow in Central Texas.|
|Brown Turkey||100||Self-Pollination||Moderately Closed-eye.|
|Texas Everbearing||100||Self-Pollination||Moderately Closed-eye.|
|Grapes:||The hot and humid Texas weather lends itself to growing grapes. They prefer a well-draining soil, with a neutral pH (7.0 pH – to slightly acidic).|
|Black Spanish (Le Noir)||150||Self-Pollination||Dark Purple.|
|Blanc du Bois||150||Self-Pollination||White.|
|Peaches:||Peach trees grow great in smaller spaces. Watch for the weather freezing buds too early!|
|Pears:||These pear cultivars are much easier to care for than other types. You do not need two pear trees to fruit, however your production will increase by planting two.|
|Housi||300||Shinko||Asian variety. Would prefer another Asian pear to yield more production.|
|Pecans:||Pecans should be within 300 feet of another variety or native tree. It may be beneficial to plant one early and one late pollen shedding variety in your landscape.|
|Desirable||Early-shedding||Lakota or Choctaw||Medium to soft shelled.|
|Persimmons:||Persimmon trees are small, easy to grow, and adapted to Central Texas. The tree, its leaves, and its fruit don’t have to be sprayed because they have no serious insect or disease problems.|
|Fuyu||200||Self-Pollination||Non-astringent – may be eaten after turning fully orange without waiting for them to get soft. Flavor improves with softening.|
|Hachiya||200||Self-Pollination||Astringent – must be fully ripe and very soft before being eaten, otherwise they cause a sensation of dryness or puckering.|
|Texas||100||Self-Pollination||Very drought-tolerant, small black fruit, similar looking to a crape myrtle.|
|Plums:||In general, most plums are self-pollinating. However, planting another plum variety will increase crop yield.|
|Methley||450||Self-Pollination||Fragrant blooms, ripens late May – early June. Sweet and juicy fruit that’s great for jams, and does not store well.|
|Santa Rosa||400||Self-Pollination||Yields large purple plums in June.|
|Pomegranates:||Pomegranates grow very well in our alkaline soil and do not need another tree to increase its yield.|
|Texas Pink||200||Self-Pollination||Light pink fruit with pink seeds.|
|Wonderful||150||Self-Pollination||Produces large fruit with red seeds.|