Citrus: Winter Sunshine for Sacramento

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Nov 30, 2016 3:21:06 PM

Winter's here, which means saying goodbye to the sunshine for awhile, but that's no reason to feel sad! Citrus is in its prime now, and anyone who has grown their own Citrus can tell you that first, sweet, tart bite is the closest thing you'll find to sunshine in the winter time. 

 Citrus_sunrise-845579-edited.png

Dwarf vs. Standard 
We primarily stock dwarf Citrus because they're easier to maintain at 8-12' tall than standard varieties. The quality and size of the fruit is exactly the same, the difference is the trees have been grafted onto dwarfing rootstock, preventing them from reaching the standard size of 30'.  Always wanted to grow Citrus in containers? Dwarf varieties are the way to go!

Did you know that Citrus is one of the few fruits that produces nearly year 'round? Depending on the variety, you can harvest anytime and there are plenty of varieties to choose from!

Here are some of our favorites*

Sweet Orange

Cara Cara Pink Navel 
Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Winter
This early-ripening navel orange has unusual pink-tinged flesh and a rich, sweet flavor. 
Washington Navel
Usual Fruit Season: Winter
California's famous winter-ripening orange. Sweet, seedless fruit ripens ten months from its bloom time in Spring. 

Lemon

Improved Meyer 
Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Spring
This hybrid is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, improved by Four Winds Growers in the 1950's. The result is a slightly sweet, fragrant, thin-skinned fruit which is favored among gourmet chefs. 

Eureka
Usual Fruit Season: Fall/Spring
A traditional tart lemon that bears large fruit with thick skin and a bright, piquant flavor. Once established, it can produce fruit year 'round. 

 

Mandarin

Clementine
Usual Fruit Season: Winter
Also known as Algerian Mandarin, Clementines are a sweet, slightly tart, seedless variety. They were discovered by French missionary Marie-Clément Rodier in North Africa over 100 years ago.

Fun Fact: Cuties® Mandarins found in supermarkets come from two varieties: W. Murcott (late winter-early spring) and Clementines (fall-winter). 

 

Owari Satsuma
Usual Fruit Season: Dec/Jan
One of the hardiest varieties, Satsumas are coveted for their juicy, sweet, seedless fruit in an easy-to-peel package. This variety is popular for canning, the fruit has a rich, intense flavor. 

 

 

 

 

Clementine, Mandarin, Tangerine...What's the Difference? Clementines and Tangerines are varieties of Mandarins, and the names are often used interchangeably. Clementines are very sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel.  Tangerines are slightly more tart, and usually have seeds. 

Lime

Bearss Seedless
Usual Fruit Season: Fall
True lime with classic tart flavor, green rind and flesh. Produces larger fruit than Mexican lime, nearly year 'round. 

Mexican/Key
Usual Fruit Season: Fall
Small rounded fruit has a complex tropical flavor, which adds exciting tang to drinks and desserts. This variety is especially tender, be sure to protect from frost.


If you are lucky enough to already have one of these delicious fruit trees in your yard, be sure to protect them from frost in the chilly months ahead! Learn more below...

Frost Cloth Guide

 *Selection varies throughout the season, call one of our five locations for current availability. 

Topics: Winter, Fruit Trees, Citrus

Are You a Friend of the Fig?

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 31, 2016 5:05:59 PM

Fig.jpgFigs are an unusual fruit (technically an inverted flower) with a rich history, earning notoriety in many cultures around the world. Legend has it that citizens of ancient Athens called themselves philosykos which literally translates to 'friend of the fig'.  Who wouldn't want to be a philosykos- figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants and essential vitamins.

Figs require full sun, and will tolerate almost any soil type. They're drought tolerant, but produce a better crop with regular irrigation. If unpruned, they can reach 15 feet high and wide, but they can be kept to six feet with regular pruning*. There are even some dwarf varieties that grow well in a pot. Fig trees are perfectly adapted to our Mediterranean climate and extremely prolific, your family and friends are sure to flock to your home when fig season rolls around late summer through autumn. Figs may mean farewell to summer, but with an abundance of these delicious fruit to snack on, who cares?

Here are some of our favorite fig varieties**, and some tantalizing recipes to try too...

Black Mission - Purplish-black skin with strawberry-colored pulp and luscious flavor, this variety is a farmer's market favorite. Delicious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved.

Brown Turkey - Plump fruit with brown skin and pink flesh. Sweet, rich flavor is best enjoyed fresh.

Kadota - Large fruit with light greenish-yellow skin and amber flesh, sometimes referred to as a "white" fig. Scrumptious when eaten fresh, dried or preserved. 

Panache/Tiger - A fancy fig indeed! This variety boasts stylish yellow stripes on green flesh which contrasts beautifully with the crimson pulp. 

Violette de Bordeaux - This dwarf variety stays small, but the fruit still packs a punch. Small to medium purple fruit with deep red strawberry flesh and tasty fresh or dried. 

*Be sure to wear gloves when harvesting or pruning figs, as the trees produce a sap which can be mildly irritating to the skin. 

**Inventory changes throughout the season, please contact the stores for current availability. 

Visit our Fresh Eats board on Pinterest for some delectable fig recipes to try this fall: Phenomenal Fig Recipes

 Do you love to grow your own? Check out more of   Our Favorite Fruit Trees

Topics: Edibles, Fruit Trees, Drought Tolerant, Fall, Mediterranean

Our Favorite Fruit Trees

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 17, 2016 10:45:48 AM

Growing your own fruit at home is so rewarding, and it's not nearly as difficult as it may seem. There are a range of fruiting trees and shrubs ideal for every situation. 

photo_fruittrees_V2-735426-edited-459032-edited-660584-edited.jpg

Unsure of what to plant and where? Check out our list of fruiting trees, shrubs and vines grouped by relative water needs:

High Water

  • Avocados: dense surface-rooting tendencies cause Avocados to thrive in evenly moist soils, but they will not tolerate waterlogged, poor-draining soil. 
  • Blueberries: do best in our climate when planted in afternoon shade, with three-to-four inches of mulch to help slow the evaporation of water from the soil. 
  • Cane Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, etc): thrive if provided mulch that is three-to-four inches thick, leaving a space of at least three feet from the base of the plant. 

Medium Water

The following varieties can take longer periods between watering, but shouldn't be allowed to completely dry out. 

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Peaches/Nectarines

blood_orange_fruit2-resized-600-085701-edited.jpgMedium-Low Water

Medium-low water fruit producing plants can be allowed to dry out between watering, provided they have a three-to-four-inch thick layer of mulch, spread out to at least two feet outside the width of the canopy. 

  • Almonds: good drought tolerance, but extended dry period will reduce crop size.
  • Apricots: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Citrus: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Persimmons: will thrive with occasional deep watering. 
  • Pineapple Guava: very well adapted to extended dry periods.
  • Plums: the best stone fruit for low-water conditions, sufficient mulch will ensure a decent crop size.
  • Pistachios: very well adapted to low-water conditions. However, reduced water will slow growth rate.

Low Water 

ww_fruit_tree-019496-edited.jpgThe following varieties thrive when allowed to dry out between watering, without sacrificing the quality of fruit. 

  • Figs: able to tolerate long periods of drought and still bear an acceptable crop.
  • Grapes: thrive in low-water conditions, if grown with minimal irrigation, although the crop size will be smaller and fruit can be sweeter. 
  • Pomegranates: prefer dry conditions, although fruit size may be affected, but not severely. 
  • Olives: requires dry conditions. Severe water constrictions will affect growth rate, but not appearance. 

 

 

 

 

Did you know? You can plant up to four deciduous fruit trees (such as nectarines, apples, plums, etc.) in a single hole using a revolutionary training system pioneered by Dave Wilson Nursery known as Backyard Orchard Culture. 

Backyard Orchard Culture in a nutshell:

  • Choose dwarf trees whenever possible
  • Select varieties which will ripen successively, rather than all at once
  • Plant multiple trees in a single hole
  • Prune your trees year 'round to control their size
Learn more about how to maximize your fruit harvest without sacrificing yield or quality: Backyard Orchard Culture

Topics: Edibles, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees, Citrus

Pruning 101

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 4, 2016 9:57:15 AM

pruning_woody_plants-resized-600-011342-edited.jpgPruning is the act of selectively trimming plant material in order to direct growth. This is done to promote better flowering or fruiting, accentuate a plants natural form or increase it's vigor. Everyone who gardens will eventually utilize pruning to maintain their plants health or appearance, so if you're uncertain about how to prune a specific plant visit one of our five locations and let us walk you through the process. 

The right tools are key to the pruning process. 

Here are our recommendations: 
Prune Like a Pro

When is the best time to prune?

For the majority of plants, the best time to prune is in late winter to early spring. This is because a dormant plant is less likely to have a stress reaction to the removal of limbs and foliage. 

It's better to prune towards the end of the dormant season because:

  • Dense branches can help insulate a plant from frost damage, so you want to leave them on during the coldest parts of winter 
  • Late winter is right before new growth happens in spring, so a plant is ready to close off the wound as quickly as possible when it starts growing as soon as the weather warms up
  • Deciduous plants have no leaves, so it's easier to see their natural forms and access the branches which need to be pruned

Fruit trees, roses, perennials (such as lavender and sage), grasses and most shrubs are pruned at this time of year. Fruit trees and roses can be pruned in several different ways depending on their type, age and desired use. 

Click the link below for tips on pruning roses:

Pruning Roses

Click the link below for tips on pruning fruit trees for the home gardener:

Backyard Orchard Culture

There are some exceptions to the rule, some plants should not be pruned in late winter to early spring.

The following categories of plants should be pruned at different times of year:

  • Apricots and cherries are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections, and open pruning wounds in cooler weather can exasperate the issue. They should both be pruned after fruiting in late summer or fall. 
  • Trees, shrubs and vines which bloom in spring are blooming on old wood, meaning wood that developed the previous year. As a general rule, any shrub or tree which blooms in spring should be pruned shortly after they've finished blooming. 
  • Hydrangeas- if you have an everblooming variety of Hydrangea such as the 'Endless Summer'® or 'Let's Dance'® series, they can be pruned throughout the year. The varieties which bloom annually shouldn't be pruned after mid-August. 

What types of pruning cuts are there?

Heading: Heading cuts prune away the tip of a branch, or it's terminal shoot. This is usually done to stop a branch from growing longer, and encourage bushy growth from lateral shoots. A heading cut on the main leader of a tree, is known as topping. Topping will stunt the tree from growing taller, and is not generally recommended. 

Blueberry_pruning-resized-600.jpgThinning: Thinning cuts (pictured) are where you select a lateral branch you would like to shorten, trace it back to it's point of origin, and cutting it off there. Thinning reduces size while maintaining a plant's natural form–ideal for pruning Japanese Maples. For plants which send up branches in a clumping pattern directly from the ground, the branch is traced back and cut at ground level. 

Shearing: Shearing is a type of pruning in which a lot of small branches are cut with "heading" cuts all at once, usually flush to the same level vertically or horizontally. Shearing encourages dense, uniform lateral growth for a neat and trimmed form–typically to maintain hedges and topiaries.

Note: Whenever shearing a hedge, always shear it at a slight angle like a pyramid, where the base is wider than the top, so that the top of the hedge doesn't cast shade and prevent light from reaching the lower branches. 

Pinching: Pinching is a way of preventing a bud from developing into a branch or flower. It is generally only done to new growth or herbaceous plants, anything soft enough to be severed with your fingers. This method is good for directing growth of young plants, and preventing flowering or fruiting. 

Topics: Winter, Tree, Shrubs, Pruning, Roses, Fruit Trees, Japanese Maples, Perennials

Peach Leaf Curl - The Fungus Among Us

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 26, 2013 10:18:00 AM

Why talk about peaches and nectarines this time of the year?  After all, there aren't leaves on the tree!  
 
Yes, the trees are dormant. But, now's the time to start a dormant spray program to prevent peach leaf curl fungus (Taphrina deformans). The fungal spores start germinating during periods of cool weather and rainfall.

peach leaf curl 2 resized 600

How does Peach Leaf Curl (PLC) Affect Peaches and Nectarines?

The fungus affects blossoms, fruit, leaves, shoots of peaches and nectarines. PLC reduces fruit production and puts trees in stress mode. Affected leaves fall off of tree causing sun scald injury and an invitation to peach twig borers, which can eventually kill the tree.

peach leaf curl resized 600

Signs of Peach Leaf Curl

Infected trees start to show signs on the leaves about two weeks after the tree starts leafing out late winter and spring.  Infected leaves emerge deformed and have patches of different colors, ranging from light green to yellow to shades of red. The colored areas of the leaves tend to thicken. As the leaves mature, they develop spores that turn the leaves gray before they shrivel and finally drop from the tree. It is crucial to pick up spore laden leaves from the ground to help prevent future infestations. New twigs produced by the tree can become distorted and die. If left untreated, the fungus can cause the tree to produce less fruit, (fruit can be distorted too), the tree becomes stressed, and eventually may die.

How to control Peach Leaf Curl

 

Monterey_Liqui_cop.jpgA good fungus prevention program starts around Thanksgiving. Your trees should be sprayed a minimum of three times. For easy reference, the best times to spray are: late fall – around Thanksgiving; midwinter – around New Year's Day; early spring – around Valentine's Day. Use Copper Fungicidal Liqui-Cop Spray for best results. Be sure to shake well before use. Follow label directions and be sure the trees are sprayed to the point of runoff or until all the twigs are dripping. Make sure to spray the entire trunk too! This spray can be used on other fruit trees, citrus, and ornamentals to control a number of fungal problems.  

Monterey Horticultural Oil-1.jpgAnother tip: add Horticulture Spray Oil to the mixture. The spray oil not only makes the copper more effective, it also helps control insects by suffocating egg cases laid earlier by aphids, mites and scale insects. 

 

Dormant Spray Guide

Spraying your peaches and nectarines during dormant season will ensure a healthy tree and a bountiful harvest of fresh fruit for years to come! 

You might be wondering what other plants can be treated in the winter to reduce the risk of pests and diseases come spring. How about that sticky sap under your Crape Myrtles?  The sticky substance is known as Honeydew, a secretion from aphids which can easily be prevented with a dormant spray program. Check with one of our nursery experts for specific information about which plants can be treated with dormant sprays, and the best options for your individual landscape. 

bonide_liquid_copper.pngDon't worry if you missed the window to apply dormant sprays! Bonide Copper Fungicide is still an effective treatment for PLC that can be used even after your tree begin to break dormancy.  

Topics: Pest Prevention, Edibles, Fruit Trees

It's Bareroot Pomegranate Time!

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 16, 2013 1:10:00 PM

It’s Pomegranate time!  The selection is never better than this time of the year. 

Carried in special 3” sleeves and at $12.50 each, our quality Dave Wilson pomegranate selection is not only incredible but extremely affordable.  Furthermore, they make excellent holiday gifts for that health enthusiast or gardener.  Plant a pomegranate, give a pomegranate…

 

pomegranate2 resized 600

The Benefits of the Pomegranate

Pomegranates are native from Iran to Northern India and brought to America by the Spanish Conquistadors. Pomegranates have a long history of lore since they are one of the oldest fruits known to man.  Once thought to symbolize wealth and a long and healthy life, medical studies now show that the juice of the pomegranate contains antioxidants that can offer protection against heart disease, cancer, help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and help clean the arteries.

 

Fruit & Foliage 

The seeds of the pomegranate are edible.  Tossed on a salad, the seeds add color, crunch and are nutritious!  Pomegranate shrubs and trees planted in a landscape offer beauty and focal points to any yard.  Their beautiful flowers attract hummingbirds and their fall foliage offers breathtaking yellows to rival many fall coloring trees!  Pomegranates are also drought tolerant once established.  Planted in a pot or planted in the ground, pomegranates make an awesome addition to any landscape. 

pomegranate plant

Spectacular Varieties

'Eversweet' Pomegranate
  • Very sweet, virtually seedless fruit. (Even immature fruit is sweet!) 
  • Red skin, clear (Non-staining) juice.  
  • Harvest late summer through fall.  
  • Large, showy orange-red flowers.  
  • 8-10 ft. arching shrub, or train it as a tree or espalier.
 'Parfianka' Pomegranate
  • Large red fruit is sweet with a hint of acidity.
  • Arils (outer covering of seeds) are red with very small edible seeds.
  • Vigorous upright plant sets a heavy crop dependably.  
  • Always receives the highest praise for overall flavor.  
  • Maintain at any height with summer pruning.  
  • Great for juice and for eating fresh.
'Ambrosia' Pomegranate
  • Fantastically huge fruit, up to three times the size of 'Wonderful'.  
  • Pale pink skin. Purple sweet juice similar to 'Wonderful'.  
  • Long-lived, thrives in any soil. 

pomegranate 'Red Silk' Pomegranate

  • Medium to large sized fruit with a brilliant red silky exterior.  
  • Large, firm yet edible seeds have a sweet berry flavor and a great acid/sugar balance.  
  • This naturally semi-dwarf tree has a slightly spreading growth habit and sets large crops.  
  • Eat fresh or use in cooking.  
  • Grow as a tree or shrub.  Can be kept to any height by summer pruning. 

 

 

'Wonderful' Pomegranate

  • Most popular pomegranate.  
  • Large, purple-red fruit with delicious tangy flavor. 
  • Drought tolerant.  
  • Beautiful red-orange flavor with beautiful ornamental foliage.  
  • Fall color is spectacular golden that gives an incredible focal point to your yard.

pomegranate growing 

'Sweet' Pomegranate

  • Sweeter fruit than 'Wonderful', and more widely adapted (better quality in cool-summer climates, if your giving as a gift to friends in the Bay Area).  
  • Small, glossy-leafed ornamental tree with showy orange-red blossoms in late spring.  
  • Harvest late summer.  
  • Un-split ripe fruit stores in cool, dry place for two months or more.  
  • Great for espalier and container growing.
 
 
 
 

Topics: Gift Ideas, Edibles, Planting Ideas, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

The Benefits of Grafting Citrus & Why it is Catching On

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 5, 2013 12:45:00 PM

grafting citrus

Raymond Sheehy from the Sacramento Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers gave a two hour Citrus Grafting Clinic at the Sacramento Green Acres on July 27th.  

We were pleased to have nearly 50 guests at this free educational event with attendees from Folsom all the way up to Yuba City.  All who attended had one thing in common, they were interested in learning about citrus grafting techniques and the the endless possibilites that comes with grafting.  If you missed out on the clinic, we thought many of you might be interested in a summary.

 

Why Graft?

Raymond talked about the wonders of having a citrus tree produce multiple types of citrus fruits which is one of the main reasons grafting is growing in popularity.  Raymond is an active member of the California Rare Fruit Exchange and a past President of the Sacramento Chapter.  The group promotes the joys of growing and grafting fruit and citrus trees as well as promoting proper practices, like using certified budwood. Raymond gave a brief discussion of the basic principles of citrus grafting techniques and culture, and followed the information with an interactive grafting demonstration.

grafting citrus

Why Use Certified Budwood?

The California Rare Fruit Growers stress the importance of using certified budwood and stock.  In many commercial citrus-growing areas of the U.S. and the world, budwood is collected only from sources that are certified to be free of a number of viral diseases.  What is the danger of not using certified budwood, one might ask?  Well, there is an awful citrus pest called the Citrus Asian Psyllid, which causes Citrus Greening Disease officially called Huanglongbing (Pronounced “One-Long-Bing”).  The disease is carried by the Asian Citrus Psyllid where it is spread from tree to tree (photo).  The disease causes trees to die at an early age.  The normal lifespan of a citrus tree can be over 50 years old, however, with the disease the tree usually dies after 2-3 years.  The disease can devastate citrus groves and unfortunately, has already negatively impacted the Florida citrus industry and been plaguing southern California since the first Citrus Psyllid arrived back in 2008 and the first case of Citrus Greening disease was detected in Los Angeles in 2012.  


grafting citrus

Why Join a Club?

We are fortunate that the Asian Psyllid has not arrived in northern California and the citrus industry and local organizations like the Rare Fruit Growers tirelessly educate local gardeners about the issue.  Raymond and fellow California Rare Fruit Grower member, Harvy Correia, (photo) showed certified citrus stock and discussed the dangers of using non-certified stock.  They discussed in detail the dangers of the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the importance of not bringing citrus fruit or trees from any area outside of the greater Sacramento Area.  The also encouraged novices to join their group or other similar organizations to be educated by grafting experts who have perfected their techniques with decades of practice.

Grafting Terms Defined:  A Scion is More than Just a Car

While at the clinic, Ray gave some information on the grafting lingo.  For those who are newbies, the plant that is being propogated (the bud or budwood) is referred to as a scion and the plant being grafted onto is simply called the rootstock, or stock.  Raymond showed the group different grafting techniques and grafts. T-Bud grafts were featured at this clinic.  T-bud grafting is a special technique where the scion piece is reduced to a single bud and then grafted on the stock.  As with other types of asexual reproduction, the resulting plants will be genetic clones.

 

grafting citrus

You've Got Options

The beauty of citrus grafting is that the options are truly limitless.  One member of the group claimed that he had a citrus tree with over 101 grafts on a single tree!  Imagine going out to your tree and picking a lemon, an orange, a grapefruit and a mandarin… off of one tree!  Truly, you could pick the type of citrus that you love most and create a specific tree to grow based on your family's tastes.  The attendees of this clinic were especially fascinated by the many possibilities with grafting.  The group was given the opportunity to purchase citrus scions and budding stock and graft their own tree.  Many of the attendees purchased an established citrus tree from Green Acres and bought grafting scions from the California Rare Fruit Growers to make their tree a multiple fruiting citrus. To the left is a photo of Raymond showing a customer how to graft five different types of Citrus trees scions on to his lemon tree that he just bought from Green Acres.  After a few years of maturing, this customer should have multiple citrus fruits coming from just one tree!  The California Rare Fruit Growers holds scion exchanges throughout the year.  If you are interested in learning more or becoming a member of the Rare Fruit Growers in Sacramento to learn the art of grafting, visit their website at www.crfg.org.

Green Acres Nursery & Supply offers free seasonal workshops.  Stay tuned to upcoming wokshops by checking our calendar.  When it comes to citrus, Green Acres has the best quality.  We always carry Certified Citrus exclusively grown by Four Winds Growers and Monrovia Nursery. For more information on Citrus click below.

 

Topics: Free Events, Edibles, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

Creating a Backyard Orchard

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jan 9, 2013 2:21:00 PM

creating a backyard orchard

Everyone loves the taste of freshly picked, tree ripened fruit, but not everyone has the space for a full sized orchard at home.

Backyard Orchard Culture maximizes the yield of fruit production in minimum space by planting a variety of fruit trees close together and controlling their size with vigilant pruning. This innovative fruit tree growing method was developed by Dave Wilson Nursery in order to solve the problem of space constraint faced by the average home gardener.

Tree Selection

Semi dwarfing rootstock is the best option for backyard orchard culture, as it will help prevent the tree from reaching an unmanageable height. Genetic dwarf rootstock are also a good option, but not available for all varieties. When considering fruit varieties, try selecting those which ripen successively, in order to extend the harvesting season.

High Density Planting

By planting multiple trees in a single hole, you limit the tree size by creating competition for water, light and nutrients. This great strategy for backyard orchard culture, as the main goal is to keep the trees as small as possible while still providing them with enough room to produce a decent yield. Keep in mind that with this method, you will have to watch that one tree does not become dominant and overwhelm the others. It is recommended to use trees which are grafted on the same type of rootstock, because their growth rate will be similar.

It is possible to group 2 to 4 trees in a single hole, spaced 18-24 in. apart. Be sure to space the tree groupings 12-15 ft. apart to allow for sufficient air circulation and light saturation.

creating a backyard orchard

Pruning

Year round pruning is an essential part of backyard orchard culture, as it controls the trees size. The ideal size of a fruit tree is ultimately decided by the gardener, and enforced by regular, persistent pruning. The tree should be big enough to produce a decent yield, but small enough for easy maintenance, usually around 4-6 feet tall.

Initial Size Reduction

Initial size reduction pruning can be done just after the fruit tree has been planted. It is  a heading cut  intended to force low scaffolding branches. It is best to start with young trees of a smaller caliper ( ⅝ inch or less) because they are less established and respond better to drastic size reduction. Bareroot trees can be topped anywhere from 15 in. to 4 ft. depending on desired form and placement of existing branches. For multiple trees in one hole, cut all trees back to the same height. When selecting trees of ¾ inch caliper or larger, look for those with low established limbs, 15-18 in. from the ground, and cut tree back by ½ to ⅔. If no low branching higher caliper trees are available, hold off on initial pruning until after new spring growth.

First Year

After spring flush of growth (late April to early May), cut new growth back by half. In late summer (late August to mid September) cut subsequent growth back by half.

Second Year

Prune the same as the first year, cut growth by half in spring and again in late summer. Begin to thin out the center and aim for an open vase shape.

Third Year

Don't forget that you determine the final height of the tree-do not allow it to grow taller than you desire. Continue to cut back all new growth by at least half in late spring and early summer. Some trees may need to be pruned more frequently, depending on their vigor.  Make sure your scaffolding branches are well spaced and do not cross or grow inward.

Creating a backyard orchard

We hope this gives you some inspiration about creating your own backyard orchard.  Bareroot season is January and February.  During this time of year you will find the absolute best selection of fruit trees- we carry over 133 varieties! 
 


Bareroot Fruit Varieties

 

 

Topics: Pruning, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

Get Digging with Green Acres

Have questions? Drop us a line.

We are here to help you with all of your landscape and gardening needs.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all