Deciduous fruit trees (those that lose their leaves in winter) are planted in winter when they are bareroot and dormant. Retail nurseries can plant bareroot fruit trees into pots or cover the roots with soil or sawdust to keep the roots moist. Some nurseries maintain bareroot fruit tree areas for the storage of fruit trees prior to sale. It is generally a rectangular bed filled with sawdust or loose soil and the plants are kept there to avoid the roots drying out.
All of PlantNet's trees are root pruned at the time of digging so it is not necessary to prune the roots again when planting.
When planting a bareroot tree in the backyard, it is recommended to dig a hole twice the size of the root system and soften the bottom of the hole so that it has loose dirt in it and back fill the hole with well drained soil. For potted trees back fill with a good quaulity potting mix, and perhaps add water crystals to help maintain good soil moisture
It is important to plant the tree no deeper than where it has been grafted. A good guide is to allow approximately 5-10 cm of the bud union or "graft" to be above the ground level of the soil.(Some trees the soil level that they were planted in at the nursery can be seen on the trunk of the tree so plant the tree at this level.
Planting fruit trees after winter is also fine as many nurseries stock fruit trees all year round and sell them in pots.If purchasing a potted fruit tree after winter it is important not to disturb the roots too much when planting to ensure the fruit tree will establish quickly. All the same rules apply with regard to site selection, planting hole size, planting depth and soil preparation and / or choice of organic soil when planting potted fruit trees. (Plant the tree so that the potting mix in the nurseries pot is just covered by your soil).
If you have had the opportunity to prepare your garden's soil over time, by adding organic matter and compost before planting, this will help establish your new fruit tree. Not everyone has the luxury of planning six months ahead so don't worry if you haven't had time, just use the best quality soil you can source.
Once the fruit tree is planted in the ground or pot, firmly pack the soil down in and around the roots. Water in straight away to allow the soil to settle which will remove any excess air from around the roots. Is a good idea to mulch trees well after planting.
After planting, water your plants in well, and continue to water them until the plant establishes itself. This generally takes 3-4 months. We recommend you water your new plant twice a week (if in a pot it may require a little more) until Christmas. The best and easiest way to establish your trees is to use a watering can so you can monitor what water is being used and you can directly target the root zone - where it is needed!
Establishing the plant may require a little bit more water through summer as the temperatures will be warmer and evaporation higher.
Caution: Do not add fertiliser to the hole or soil when planting. A small closed handfull of blood and bone fertiliser mixed into the bottom of the hole is exceptable. Start fertilising trees in early Spring.