Buying Fruit Trees

by Brooke Tolman
(last updated October 5, 2018)

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different fruit trees to choose from. Given all of the variety, how do you choose? There are six main things to consider when buying fruit trees, remember to take these things into account and you can't go wrong.

  • Rootstock. The rootstock is the lower portion of the tree that you don't see. Rootstock selection and pruning determine the size of a tree. If you have limited space, choose a dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock and keep it well pruned. If you want a tree to hang a hammock on, or to use for a windbreak or shade, go for a semi-standard or standard.
  • Know your zone. When buying fruit trees you need to consider the climate zone of your area. Do you live in an area that's mostly hot or mostly cold? Does it rain a lot? Questions such as these will help you to decide which fruit trees will grow and thrive best in your garden.
  • Know your pollination needs. Most fruit trees require pollination to produce fruit. Some trees are capable of pollinating themselves and other require pollen from another tree. As a rule of thumb, pollinizers should be no more than 50 feet apart from one another, so make sure when buying your trees to check and see the pollination requirements of it. You wouldn't want to buy a fruit tree that needed a pollinator plant nearby and not have one to pollinate it.
  • Does your tree have chilling requirements? Fruit trees must pass through some sort of cold spell in order to know that winter is over and it is time to bloom. Chill is the number of hours below 45F from November to mid February that is needed for the tree to prosper best. Temperate fruit trees require anywhere from 100-1400 chilling hours. Odds are that you will probably hit somewhere in that zone and it won't be a problem. Not all fruit trees require a chilling and some require a much longer one, so make sure and check the tag when deciding on which to buy to make sure the requirements are met.
  • Do you need more than one tree? The number of trees you plant will depend on how much space you have and on how much fruit your family consumes. You can spread your harvest throughout the season so that your fruit doesn't ripen all at once.
  • How long will it take to ripen? Choose varieties of fruit that ripen over a long period of time so that you can enjoy the fresh fruit for many months instead of just a couple weeks. This is especially useful if you are planning on canning, drying, or freezing your fruit.

Author Bio

Brooke Tolman

Brooke is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science. She currently resides in Seattle where she works as a freelance data analyst and personal trainer. She hopes to spend her life camping and traveling the world. ...

MORE FROM BROOKE

Chocolate Gifts

Looking for that perfect give to give that special someone? You can't go wrong with chocolate. There are so many ways to ...

Discover More

Organizing Tools

The worst feeling is when you're in the middle of your workshop, working on a project and you can't find that darn ...

Discover More

Cleaning Shower Doors

Shower doors can be stubborn things to clean, soap scum often builds up on them and is a pain to get off. Use household ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

Raising Cherry Trees

While raising cherry trees can prove challenging, the eventual crop of fruit is well worth the trouble. The most ...

Discover More

Pollinating Apricot Trees

Have you ever noticed how it seems like there are times when your fruit trees just won't get pollinated like they are ...

Discover More

Planting Pear Trees

Planting pear trees is a great method for not only adding a bit of beauty and elegance to your landscape, but also a way ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)