Planting new peach and apple trees - How to?

wolly6973(6B KS)June 17, 2014

I have some apple and peach trees coming to me from Stark Bros and I need some guidance on planting them. I have been researching and I am now somewhat confused!

I have the following varieties coming. Jon-A-Red Semi-Dwarf Apple, Candy Crisp Semi-Dwarf Apple, Burbank July Elberta Standard Peach, and Redhaven Standard Peach. These are all shipped bare-root.

They will all be planted in lawn area. My soil has quite a bit of clay (not red) and we got a lot of wind (Kansas).

So far from my research here are my plans...

1. Dig hole about 6 ft wide and deep enough to cover all the roots.
2. Put tree in hole and fill back in with original soil compacting lightly with tamper.
3. Water well with low flow
4. Stake - I have some of the cheapo stake kits with garden hose, rope, and stakes. I also have some of the big metal stakes and a wide strap to tie in a figure 8 around them. Is one method preferred? I will only be staking for the first year.
5. Place 2-3" of mulch over dug up area making sure not to get too close to the base of the tree.

Are my plans solid or should I make some changes?

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There are some concerns that come to mind immediately on reading your post. First, 'bare root' typically means dormant and there are not many trees that would be considered dormant in mid June in the US. That means they are either not dormant, which makes bare root shipping and planting a risk, or their dormancy has been artificially extended, also not a good thing.

And the second issue is planting trees in mid June in Kansas is fraught with all sorts of difficulties - acclimation to full sun, transplant shock, summer heat, inability to keep the plants fully hydrated, etc. Just not a well-advised time of year to be doing this.

Is there any chance you can contact your supplier and have these trees delivered later in the season at a more appropriate planting time?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:16PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Stark Bros, at least in the past, keeps them dormant in cold the trees are probably still dormant.

However - I am not sure I like the idea of taking a bare-root transplant and shoving it right into 95-100 degree summer heat in Kansas.

Also there's the issue of - will the new growth have time to ripen and harden off when you've basically shaved 2 months off their growing season?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:32PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

I'd call and ask if they can just ship them in fall instead.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:33PM
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Ditto everything said. I have transplanted small fruit trees at this time, but they were acclimated for a year in a protected area and not dormant, and certainly not bare root. I would be very hesitant to try one bare root at this time of year.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 3:48PM
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wolly6973(6B KS)

I did ask about waiting until fall when I ordered, but they are trying to get rid of inventory hence the sale pricing I got. I will probably be moving in the next 3 - 5 years, so getting these guys going ASAP is the priority for me.

There is also the 1 year satisfaction guarantee, so if they do not look good this fall, I will just ask for replacements.

Concerns about temperatures aside, how does my transplant plan sound?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 4:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there are some great fruit experts.. in the fruit forum..

sometimes they do things differently than the tree peeps ... though i agree with everything said above ... because i am a tree peep ... not a fruit ..


    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:16PM
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While I agree that it is not an ideal situation, I have done it many times with success. By mid June, even trees that have been in cold storage will most likely be starting to break bud. These buds will be yellow/white in color. I put the trees in a barrel of water to cover the roots, with the tops in the shade. I cut an inch or less off the ends of each root for a fresh cut before putting them in the water. I leave them there for a day. I water them in well when I plant, and I build a moat of soil around the edge of the former hole so that the water goes down. Then I just keep a close eye on them, usually filling up the moat every other day depending on the weather. It won't be long and those yellow buds will turn green and start growing.

As for the rest of your plan, it sounds good to me, but I think a 6' wide hole for a mail order fruit tree is overkill. I usually go about 6 inches wider all around than the roots. I use my foot for tamping. Be sure to plant a little high and at the correct depth on the graft. I usually don't stake. I put some window screen around the trunk to keep the critters away.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:21PM
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wolly6973(6B KS)

Thanks for the feedback so far guys!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:20PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i doubt you will get much of a harvest before you move... unless you live in some fruit tree universe i dont live in.. but dont let that stop you ...

again.. i note fruit nuts do things differently ...

but the link is a good general guide.. and i want to to memorize how to water PROPERLY ... water is the most significant hurdle you will have planting this time of year ... and it has nothing to do with lawn sprinklers.. or shooting the top with a pistol grip ...

in fact.. if it were me.. as a tree guy .. i might pot them.. and grow them in full shade until fall .. and then plant them in the ground when days are warm.. and nights are cool.. that is root growing weather ... not when its blistering hot.. and the soil is hot ...

bounce it off the fruit pees.. and good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 4:46PM
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