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How often to water bare-root fruit trees?
I've got some bare-root fruit trees planted about a month ago in large pots. I've seen the answer varies greatly in online forums and on gardening sites, anywhere from at least a year to ever. My question is how often I should water them, and if so, how often. Right now, I water them twice a week, once or twice a day in the summer and again in the fall. My neighbor told me to water them every other day, even in the summer.
So, any thoughts?
Last edited by zachary on Sat Aug 16, 2012 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I've got a couple of bare-root apple trees at the moment and they go into the ground next week and start growing. I was hoping to get more advice on watering them. I've read conflicting information online but really no definitive answer from a professional. There's no way I can plant them out to maturity and don't water them, there's simply too much chance of them becoming dehydrated as they grow.
I had been watering them every three weeks. After a friend of mine was watering a bunch of her bare root fruit trees after they were planted, I followed suit and started doing the same thing. In my case, I've started watering them twice a week in the summer and once a week in the fall. I haven't noticed any problems as a result.
With the apple trees, I've been reading that they need to be watered in the morning to give them an initial drink. After a few months though, they'll be fine. It's been about 4 months for me and I was watering them about twice a week in the summer and every couple weeks in the fall.
I'd like to get an idea if you're watering them in the morning, noon, or evening. With my plum tree, I've been watering it in the afternoon and evening every other day. However, it hasn't fruited yet, so I'm just experimenting. The same watering scheme is how I water all of my other bare root trees.
You shouldn't be watering fruit trees at all as it deprives them of the nutrients necessary to produce fruit, plus they only grow for about 3 years.
When planting out in the ground you should give the tree room to grow into the area, but do not put them on their side, give the trees at least 12 inches of space on either side.
If you are planting out in the ground as opposed to containerized, then you are best off planting them in the fall so that they will be established before winter. This is especially true for bare root trees. Otherwise the winter weather can be too harsh on the plants and they are likely to die off.
It is also recommended to plant bare root trees on the same day as they are dug, so that they can begin to establish themselves and acclimate to the conditions. Then they can be watered with more frequent but less frequent applications, like in the container.
The only thing to watch out for in the fall is frost. That can kill your trees quickly if they are planted in the ground. The recommended practice is to dig holes with a plastic nursery soil container, add fertilizer, pot up and plant. When spring comes you just plant them in the ground.
I would recommend to wait to water until they start to develop their leaves. Otherwise they are going to burn if you water them.
One of the best ways to water an orchard, is in the afternoon in the afternoon.
You can do this by pouring the water directly onto the base of the plant, if it can't get above the branches, put something around the bottom to catch the water to drip off. This prevents evaporation of the water and is good for both you and the plant.
As you can see by my pictures, I have 3 big trees. A lot of the watering has been done in the evening so the trees will get enough light, because I just got into the big trees. I am going to make more pictures of how the fruit is coming along so you can see how big it is going to be.
I had been having a little watering problem, and I thought maybe the rain was stopping the drain hole from opening enough, so I drilled another hole and it was working.
But that was because I had been watering and then letting it dry and not watering for a long time, because I thought it wasn't draining.
I have had it all rained out, so now I am having a good, long time to water without watering. It is a good time.
I can tell because the fruit is growing and getting bigger, but my big trees are still smaller than the big trees in my previous orchard. The big trees that I had that were full of fruit, were all trees I had started from seed.
The plants that I am growing now were already half grown when I bought them. The seedlings were in a big container.
This seedling is not as big as the other 3 that were already in the container. I was able to get one of the seedlings from the container and plant it directly in the ground.
That one is about 3 feet tall already, so it will be big by the time it is mature.
The seedlings that were in the container were smaller than the plant that was in the pot because it was in the container for so long before I planted it, it was bigger by the time it was planted.
When they plant a tree in a pot, they give it a good root system so the tree can grow to the size it will grow to when planted in the ground.
I was surprised that all three seedlings were in a container in the nursery for so long. They usually sell nursery stock that is about 4 or 5 years old.
I would not sell these seedlings if they were any younger than this, because I think they would still be too small. I will not know how big they will get until they are mature, but I will sell the ones that are larger.
I would not plant seeds for the seedlings until next year. They will probably start to grow and grow in size until the next year, and I can then decide whether or not to keep them and sell them or start them again next year.
If I planted them, I would let them develop roots in the ground and then I would plant them. I would not put them in the ground until they have developed roots. I have had this happen before where I planted an apple tree from a seed, and it took a couple of years before it developed roots.
If I did not plant them, they would probably be too small to sell because I would not know how big they would be at maturity.
I would be able to tell how big they would be at maturity