STEP 1: PREPARING THE GROWING AREA FOR THE SIZE OF TREE YOU WANT TO PLANT
Consider the spot in your yard where you want to plant your fruit tree.
The amount of space you have will dictate the size of tree that will be right for you.
Important things to remember:
- Fruit trees come in a variety of sizes. Be sure to read the tag on the tree to get an idea of how much space you will need for planting
- Semi-dwarf fruit trees range from about 10 feet to 16 feet in size
- Ultra-dwarf fruit trees range from 3 feet to 5 feet and typically are grown in 16 inch x 16 inch or larger pots
STEP 2: WHEN WILL THE TREE PRODUCE FRUIT?
When choosing a fruit tree, it’s important to keep in mind when you expect to harvest fruit from it.
When planting multiple self-fertile trees, try selecting trees with different ripening periods to extend the harvest season.
When planting trees that require pollinators, select trees with compatible flowering timelines. Learn more about self-fertile trees versus those that require pollinators below.
Chill hours and your geographic location have an impact on how your trees grow and when your tree will mature enough to yield fruit. Chill hours refers to the amount of hours your area receives that are between 32 and 45 degrees fahrenheit. For example, areas of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties average between 800-1200 chill hours!
Chill hours are very important to commercial growers, less so for home gardeners.
Friedman’s selects varieties that are appropriate for our region and climate.
STEP 3: POLLINATION REQUIREMENTS
There are two types of pollination requirements for fruit trees; self-fertile trees and trees that require a pollinator.
Self-fertile trees are those that produce compatible flowers and pollen and can pollinate themselves. The tag on the tree you select will tell you which type of pollination is required.
Some examples of self-fertile fruit and nut trees that do not require cross pollination include:
- Fuji apples
- d’Anjou pears
- Stella Cherries
- Most apricots
- All-in-one Almond
Pollination occurs within the trees flowers, causing the flower to set into fruit. Cross pollination allows a male flowering tree and a female flowering tree, who flower at comparable times, to set fruit.
A few examples of trees that require cross pollination include:
- Many apple varieties
- Most sweet cherries