The Art of Growing Fruit Trees
There really is an art to growing fruit trees – and it’s one that more and more folks are coming to Evergreen of Johnson City for guidance with. Like most things, it is easy when you know what you’re doing and that’s what we’re here for! It is satisfying, rewarding and fun – get started!
Some fruit trees require a second, compatible tree in order to produce fruit – that’s known as cross pollination. Others are self-pollinating. Obviously, it’s vital to know which is which when you are making your selection and any of our experts on staff will be glad to help you make that determination.
Once you have determined if and what kind of cross pollinator is required for a fruit tree, your main objective is to plant them where they receive full sun exposure. Here’s a general overview of fruit trees that can be most successfully grown in our area! For details on each of these and more, call or come by and ask to speak to one of our Fruit Tree Experts on staff:
APPLES: Apples come in a range of varieties and most require a properly selected cross pollinator of a different variety for fruit production. Generally easy to grow, applies require some easy preventative spraying for various insects and diseases for the overall health of the tree and its fruit.
CHERRIES: Cherry trees are SO popular in our area and come in sweet or tart varieties. Tart (sour) cherry trees are self pollinating, meaning you don’t have to have a second tree to act as a cross pollinator. This makes them a great choice if you have limited room to plant. For sweet cherries, you usually need a second tree for cross pollinating, although there are some self-pollinating sweet cherry trees that are sometimes (but not always) available.
PLUMS: Like cherry trees, some are self-pollinating and others require a cross-pollinator (2nd tree), so choose carefully. Like apple trees, some preventative spraying may be needed for pests but overall, they are easy to grow.
PEACHES: The southern favorites are self-pollinating for the most part, but a few varieties may require a cross pollinator. Plant them where they will receive full sun exposure (this goes for most all fruit trees). Since Peaches are known to bloom quite early, they may be a little sensitive to late spring frosts. An early spring preventative spraying right after flowering will control diseases like Peach Leaf Curl. This is important since once the disease has set in in mid to late spring, it is not controllable.
PEARS: Pear trees thrive in East TN and are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow! They are all self-pollinating to some degree but you’ll find you reap a much bigger yield of fruit if add a proper alternative for cross pollination. Pears are often very upright in their growth habit so less width space is required. Prevent their most common disease – Fire Blight – by preventative spraying during the actual flowering period so the antibiotic spray goes directly to the flower. Once the tip dies back in summer, it is too late to prevent or treat them.
In general, some proper selections for varieties, cross pollinators when needed, space of generally full sun exposures is managed, and a bit of TLC, and you’ll be off to a great start of producing your own fruit for you and your family to enjoy. Happy Fruiting!