Gardening in your own back yard is an excellent form of relaxation, and nothing better than fruit trees to enhance the garden. Producing your own fruit can be challenging but equally rewarding if done correctly, and the following steps will guide you on how you can get your fruit trees to produce more fruit with a little effort.
Step 1: Choosing Two Varieties of Fruit Trees for Appropriate Pollination
In order to get a good crop of fruit, many fruit trees require at least two varieties for cross-pollination. Some pear trees such as 20th Century, Starkcrimson and Moonglow, and apple trees such as Gala, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Braeburn and Gravenstein are self-pollinating, but they will produce more fruit if they are cross pollinated. For best fruit you should have two trees that bloom at the same time. This will ensure that the king blossoms, which are the first and largest blossoms to open, are pollinated.
Step 2: Standard Fruit Tree Timelines
Standard size apple or pear trees take roughly between 3 to 5 years to start producing fruit. Asian pears being the easiest to grow will start producing fruit the first year. Dwarf variety of fruit trees start bearing fruit a little earlier, generally within the second or third season.
Step 3: Apple and Pear Fruit Trees
Apple and pear trees require a full sun and good drainage. They cannot grow standing in water, but that does not mean the ground around them should be parched. Make sure your apple or pear fruit trees are not planted in low-lying areas because that is where cold air settles and can be fatal to any blossoms or any developing fruit. Also, there should be at least a three-foot wide circle around your tree, and remove any grass growing there, as it can compete with the tree for important nutrients. Also add mulch over the soil, which will not only keep the soil moist but also deter any weeds from growing there.
Apple and pear trees bear fruit on short twigs on older wood called fruit spurs. Spurs will die out if they get too much shade. Ideally, branches should be either in the 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock positions, instead of growing straight up, so that the upper branches do not shade the lower branches. The upper branches should be thinned out to let light and air to the center of the tree so that fruit spurs can remain healthy.
Step 4: Pruning for Healthy Fruit Trees
Pruning is very important for fruit trees because it improves the vigor of the trees encourages the growth of fruiting spurs. One of the reasons fruit trees fail to produce more fruit is the lack of regular moderate pruning. Ideally, trees should be pruned in the winter. At least 1/3rd of the twig like shoots growing off the branches should be pruned.
Do not be afraid of pruning your fruit trees since it does not kill the tree. Thinning is also important for improving the next year’s blossoms and promoting a larger fruit size. Apple and pear blossoms for a cluster, consisting of five or six potential fruits, so you should thin these down to one or two fruits so they have more room to grow.
Step 5: Insect Pest Control
Even the most disease resistant varieties of apple and pear trees need insect pest control, so make sure you check with your local county office for the best pesticide to apply in your area.