How do I choose a planting location?
Use the chart HERE to find what fits in your space. The main factors involved in choosing a planting location are:
- Soil - most fruit trees require moderate to high soil fertility
- Space - see spacing chart.
- Sun - nearly all fruit trees require full sun to properly ripen the fruit. Full sun means 8hrs or more per day in the summer.
- Water - apples and pears are the simplest, but all fruit trees need adequate water, especially the first year you plant them. The soil should drain well, but not too fast. You can test your soils drainage ability by digging a hole 12" deep, dumping water into it and observing how fast it drains. If it drains within seconds, or takes the better half of a day, this is a bad spot to plant fruit trees! Stone fruits especially don't like their feet wet - i.e. to be in sitting water. Apples and pears can handle seasonal (spring) flooding of up to 2 weeks at a time, but if you have standing water longer than that time, it's best to either amend the soil or plant elsewhere.
We recommend getting a soil test if you are unsure about your soil - consider fruit trees are an investment of time and money, and it pays off to do it right the first time! Most towns/cities should have an agricultural lab where you can get these tests done or you can mail them to a lab. We get ours done at AgriAnalysis in Stratford for about $10 each.
Orchard People, headed by Susan Poizner, also has some great classes that walk you through the beginning processes of starting your own backyard orchard. We recommend THIS COURSE if you are interested in more information on how to go about choosing a planting location.