It’s winter and that means it’s time to plant our Bare root fruit trees. There are many myths surrounding the planting of fruit trees. Today I’m going to dispel those myths and we’ll talk about the truth about how to plant your bare root fruit trees. Myth number one, when planting through trees you need to plant two of the same variety close to each other. A flower will only become fruit if it is successfully pollenized by compatible male flower. However, planting two of the same kind of trees won’t help this happen. They’re also self-fruitful trees that will produce more fruit if planted with the tree of the same variety next to it. For example olives and some apples and pears are self-fruitful, but if they’re planted with other varieties of olives or apples and pears will produce more fruits. Self-fruitful trees include figs, nectarines, and pomegranates, and a whole bunch of others. And their are trees that do require pollenizer, and that pollenizer needs to be different than the tree that’s going to be pollinated. For example many cherries, many plums and many other types of fruit trees require a fruit tree within the same category, but of a different variety to pollenate it in order for it to be fruitful. You can find out exactly which pollenized all of the three trees need by visiting our website at groworganic.com, bare root fruit trees. And don’t worry about what kind of fruit you’re going to get when you mix tree varieties for pollenizing. When the trees pollenize each other the fruit is still the same as the original mother variety, not a hybrid. So go right ahead and plant a Gala apple with a Golden Delicious. Myth #2, fill your planting hole with lots of compost and fertilizer. Understandably when you get your bare root fruit trees you’re going to want to give them the best start possible. And you would think that maybe a big dose of compost and fertilizer would help, but actually it won’t. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, you should not fill up the planting hole with fertilizer and compost, because unlike a veggie garden, that would thrive in specially prepared soil, a tree needs to be grown in your native soil. The tree’s roots will grow bigger than the planting hole within a year. Also the planting hole is richer than the surrounding soil, the roots might just circle back instead of spreading out. This could result in an unstable root system and possibly root girdling and death. Applying fertilizer to a newly planted tree can also cause problems. Most fertilizers are too powerful for sensitive tree roots. Too much nitrogen can burn root tips. Over fertilizing also results in rapid weak growth which can lead to unwanted water sprouts in the spring and broken branches in future years. If you want to improve the soil at planting time you can add this PrimeStart Booster Blend. This low nitrogen blend especially balanced for bare root fruit trees. Another thing that you can do to improve your soil conditions is to add a cover crop, like this Legume Oat Mix. This will add nitrogen and improve the soil quality over the life of the tree. This will increase organic matter and nitrogen to improve the soil over the course of the season. Myth number three, you should always stake your fruit trees. Actually unstaked trees grow stronger as they adapt to their environment than staked trees. Natural movements like swaying in the wind makes a sturdier trunk that is less apt to suffer damage from storms or other stressors later in life. It could be beneficial and some instances to stake a tree, for example to prevent it from tipping over, but that would be temporary. Should you decide to stake your trees make sure you use a guard that will prevent damage to the bark. This Mow Over Tree State Kit is good because it will prevent girdling as long as it’s removed at the appropriate time. Next myth, seal prune branches after you cut them to prevent disease and insects. Pruning your trees can be scary and it’s only natural that you would want to put a band-aid over places where you’ve cut, however this won’t actually help your tree. Trees don’t heal like our bodies do, instead they seal off damaged wood and grow new healthy wood around the damage. The damage itself is never repaired it is simply separated by a physical barrier of cells to keep any infection from spreading to the rest of the tree. Because trees heal from the inside and not by forming a scab like we do, the treat is not benefit from having a seal put over any cuts made to its branches. In fact sealing cuts can do more harm than good by impairing healthy air circulation to the cut and by trapping inside the cut any bacteria fungus are other potentially disease-causing organisms that were living on the bark. Since small branches heal easiest, it’s best whenever possible to make pruning cuts that are less than 2 inches in diameter. You can help your tree to heal as best as possible by fertilizing properly, providing adequate water, aerating the soil if it is compacted, and treating any diseases and pests as needed. By keeping your tree in good overall health and reducing stress you, can make pruning cuts worry free. So plant and grow your fruit trees according to facts and not myths, and Grow Organic for Life!