I have never ordered bare root trees before so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. When I arrived home yesterday and saw this box sitting at my front door I couldn’t imagine it would be my trees, but it was.
When I opened up the box my little babies looked good. They wrapped the roots in plastic and gel pellets to keep them moist. A big thanks to Willis Orchards. They sell a large variety of trees, vines, and berries.
I ordered a Golden Dorsett Apple, Anna Apple, Babcock Peach, FlordaPrince Peach, Pineapple Pear, Candy Pecan, and a Celestial Fig. I tried to order trees with the lowest chill hours needed.
I wanted to order trees this past January but the trees I wanted were sold out. So I ordered these trees in September and
patiently waited for them to arrive.
My goal is Backyard Garden Orchard Culture, which is keeping the trees at a lower height. It is SO hard for me to cut my trees but since the trees I just received were “twigs” it wasn’t a problem.
Here is a 3 year plan from Dave Wilson Nursery
At planting time, bareroot trees may be topped as low as 15 inches above the ground to force very low scaffold limbs or, alternatively, trees may be topped higher than 15 inches (up to four feet) depending on the presence of well-spaced side limbs or desired tree form. After the spring flush of growth cut the new growth back by half (late April/early May in central Calif.). In late summer (late August to mid-September) cut the subsequent growth back by half. Size control and development of low fruiting wood begin in the first year.
Two, Three or Four trees in one hole
At planting time, plant each tree 18 to 24 inches apart. Cut back all trees to the same height.
Cut back new growth by half in spring and late summer as above. In the first two years especially, cut back vigorous varieties as often as necessary (very important!).
Do not allow any variety to dominate and shade out the others.
Plant each grouping of 3 or 4 trees in one hole at least 18 inches apart (between closest trees) to allow for adequate light penetration and good air circulation.
To conserve water and stabilize soil moisture: apply at least a 4-inch layer of mulch up to 4 feet from a single tree or from the center of a two-, three-, or four-trees-in-one-hole planting.
Cut back new growth by half in spring and late summer, same as the first year.
Pruning three times may be the easiest way to manage some vigorous varieties: spring, early summer and late summer.
Single-tree plantings: prune to vase shape (open center, no central leader). Multi-plantings:thin out the center to allow plenty of sunlight into the interior of the group of trees.
All: remove broken limbs. Remove diseased limbs well below signs of disease.
Choose a height and don’t let the tree grow any taller.
Tree height is the decision of the pruner. Whenever there are vigorous shoots above the chosen height, cut back or remove them. Each year, in late spring/early summer, cut back all new growth by at least half.
The smaller one-, two-, and three-year-old branches that bear the fruit should have at least six inches of free space all around. This means that where two branches begin close together and grow in the same direction, one should be removed.
When limbs cross one another, one or both should be cut back or removed.
When removing large limbs, first saw part way through the limb on the under side ahead of your intended cut. Do this so it won’t tear the trunk as it comes off. Also, don’t make the final cut flush with the trunk or parent limb; be sure to leave a collar (a short stub).
Below is a great video on this type of growing.