First of all, avoid fertilizer applications after August 1st so your tree growth slows and the tree can harden off properly by winter. Protect the graft for the first few years with some form of insulation. Finally, protect the trunk with a white plastic spiral guard or other mechanical protection. These “winterizing” products are available from Whiffletree and are shown in our catalogue.
Water a newly planted tree with 5 gallons of water, letting it soak in slowly. An easy way to do this is to make a very small hole in a 5 gallon pail and then set the pail beside the tree.
If planting a dormant bare root tree or plant, do not water it again until leafing begins. Too much water in the dormant stage can reduce root development. Once the tree is leafed out, water it with 3-5 gallons twice a week for the first season depending on how well drained your soil is and how much rain falls throughout the first season.
If your tree or plant is not producing new growth then yes fertilization may be needed. We recommend concentrated organic liquid fertilizers that can be added when watering. Adding a layer of compost on top of the ground at the base of the tree once or twice a year will help build the soil quality which will eventually remove the need for fertilization. Please refer to our catalogue for recommended fertilizers and other soil amendments.
Every tree has its own preferred growing habits. Usually a tree is pruned for the grower’s convenience or aesthetic wishes. To learn more about the basics of pruning, we offer several books on the subject. Please refer to our free catalogue for more information.
Unless you have heavy clay soil, there isn’t much to do in terms of soil preparation. You can add amendments such as compost or peat moss to the soil and/or a layer of mulch over the root area after planting will help retain moisture, especially during the first year. While it may be tempting to add fertilizer or manure to your freshly dug hole before planting your new tree, PLEASE resist! Fertilizer or manure in close contact with the root system could chemically burn the roots and potentially kill the tree.
If it produces flowers but no fruit then your tree probably needs a cross pollinator – a second variety which is different from the variety that you currently have to pollinate the flowers and produce fruit.
In general most trees take 2 to 3 years to start producing fruit. Some species of berries and bushes will produce fruit the same year.
Bare root trees are dormant. They are dug out of the fields early in the spring and stored in a large cold room to keep them dormant until they are replanted. Since they are dormant, they don’t require any soil to keep them alive. Bare root trees are light and easy to ship allowing us to send our trees all over the country at the lowest possible cost. Dormant trees have the additional advantage of not suffering from transplant shock.
A self-pollinating tree or plant will produce fruit all on its own.
When a pollinator is required, it means two trees are required to produce fruit. Any two trees of the same plant species must be used (i.e. an apple tree will not pollinate a pear tree).