Tropical Fruit Information
Tree Planting Suggestions
Tree Planting Suggestions
After many years of selling trees and providing verbal instructions for their care at planting, we have finally decided to put into writing ECHO's method for planting fruit trees. This method is successful for us and may be helpful for those inexperienced at planting fruit trees in Southwest Florida.
Moving a tree from a nursery environment to another location can add stress to a potted plant. In our nursery, potted trees are watered once, sometimes twice a day. If you are not going to plant a tree immediately, keep in mind that a potted plant has a small resevoir from which to draw water and will need to be monitored closely for water stress. The nursery medium should be completely moistened at each watering.
We suggest planting the tree most days of the year in the morning (before 10:00 am) or late in the afternoon (after 4:00 pm) in order to avoid stressing the tree by planting in the heat of the day.
Choosing a location: this can be difficult. There are numerous considerations, including the tree's cold tolerance, flood tolerance (e.g. avocado and papaya do not tolerate flooding) and height and width at maturity.
We do not put any fertilizer in the planting hole. Many people like to amend their planting holes. We have had fine success without adding amendments, aside from maybe mixing with the sand some fine textured soil or composted manure in the top few inches, and topping with 2-3" of wood chip mulch. We do not recommend fertilizing the tree for until 4-6 weeks after planting.
Tree Planting Instructions:
1) Place tree to be selected at the planting site, having handy a shovel and a hose, preferably one with a high-pressure nozzle on the end.
2) Water tree's rootball, either while in the pot, or immediately after removing pot (see Step 5), whichever is easier.
3) Dig a hole 1½ - 2 times the diameter of the pot, to the proper depth. If planting in a low area, mound flood sensitive trees such as citrus or avocado - the tree may actually "sit" several inches above ground level. We mound many of our fruit trees at ECHO due to the high water table and seasonal flooding. Create a generous mound, or "turtle-back" made of sand - not compost or other organic matter, which will quickly break down.
4) Fill the planting hole with water.
5) Set nursery tree on its side and remove pot. Check for circling roots in the bottom half of the root ball, gently tease larger roots free (there are often 3 or more noticeably larger and longer roots in lower half of the root ball); gently pull on some of the smaller, tangled fibrous roots around the root ball by poking your finger into root ball up to the second knuckle and forming a "hook" to tease out the roots. Position roots in proper direction, and place tree in hole.
6) Backfill hole with original soil, using high water pressure to remove air pockets by pushing hose nozzle into the soil around the root ball - the soil should be thoroughly saturated at planting.
7) If desired, place a circle of mulch around tree 2-3" thick, keeping mulch at least 6" from the base of tree.
Water tree as needed in the days to come. A finger test, feeling for soil moisture a few inches down, is usually the best test. The soil should always be at least slightly moist. A general rule of thumb is to water 3 times/week for the first two weeks, followed by 2 times /week thereafter. The spring months (March-June) are especially difficult for trees along with dry spells during summer and fall months. Monitor soil moisture closely during these months.Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 August 2007 )