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Monday, March 12, 2012

Planting Fruit Trees from Containers Gives Few Advantages

Fruit tree in container to avoid purchasing
when roots are exposed like this
Q. I would like to plant a peach and pluot in my backyard. I know you always recommend planting bare root, but I am too excited and don't really want to wait 3-5 years for fruit. There is a drastic price difference between 5 gallon and 15 gallon trees.  How soon would I get fruit with each of these options? I have one spot that is cooler and another a bit warmer. Which would be best in these spots?

A. The 5 gallon tree will catch up to the size of the 15 gallon tree in about two years. This is because the larger tree transplants more poorly compared with the smaller tree. A bare root tree will catch up to the 15 gallon tree in 2 to 3 years.

            There is very little difference between all of them in how soon they will produce due to transplant shock. Transplant shock is less in bare root trees than container trees and they establish better in soil than container trees.

            The peach tree should be into full production in its fourth year. You will get a trickle of fruit prior to this. The pluot will enter into full production in about the sixth year but you should get a trickle of fruit in the fourth year.

            I would put the pluot in the cooler winter location to try to delay its bloom later in the spring to avoid fruit loss due to late freezes.

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