Soon it will be time for homeowners and commercial growers to plant their fruit trees in Alabama.
Edgar Vinson, assistant research professor and Extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Auburn University, reminds producers, whether they’re planting peach trees or apple trees, the time to do so is during the late fall or winter when the plants are dormant.
“You can plant an actively growing tree but it really puts a lot of stress on it. The idea is you want to keep as much moisture in the plant. If you’ve got a plant that’s got leaves, it’s transpiring and losing water. The roots aren’t really developed to the point that it’s extracting enough water and nutrients to keep up with the water that’s being lost,” Vinson said.
One of the most important factors to consider, whether you’re planting peach trees, apple trees, blueberries or figs, is the soil. Soil testing is crucial and needs to be done well in advance.
“You definitely want to be mindful of your soil. Soil tests are really important. You want to know how much nutrients are in the soil,” Vinson said. “If there’s any deficiencies, you want to be able to correct those especially with a perennial crop like fruit tree crops.
“It’s very difficult to course correct once you get those in the ground. Having a soil test is important. If there’s anything that has to be changed, like if the pH is off, it’s really good to know so you can apply lime.”