Fruit tree planting in Houston heat.

Summer in Texas.  Extra care is needed in planting a fruit tree at this time of year.  It is hot and very dry and this places extra demands on the tree’s system.  The roots of a tree absorb the nutrients and water from the soil, transfer them to the leaves, which aspire the water out in the air.  It is best to plant when the tree is dormant, which is the winter for deciduous trees. This gives the roots time to develop before the leaves are demanding attention.  The trifoliate rootstock on the citrus trees also goes semi-dormant in the winter, but those plants are frost sensitive, especially when very young.  Citrus should be planted in the spring after the frost danger has waned.  Bare root trees should not be purchased now but container grown trees can be planted any time.  Be sure that the planting area drains well after a rain. Deep water that area, dripping all night long if the soil has been dry. Dig a hole only as deep as the soil in the pot and twice as wide. Soak the potted tree in a bucket of water  before planting it. Fill the hole with water to make sure the water will drain.  If it does not drain in 4 or 5 hours you will need to build a raised bed for the tree.  Place the tree in the middle of the hole and fill in the sides with the soil that came out of that hole mixed with one cup of bone meal or rock phosphate. The tree should be in the soil at the same depth it was in the pot. It is OK to raise the tree a few inches if it is done to gradually slope down over a 3 foot diameter area for better drainage or to built up a raised bed with a border.  Never plant the tree lower where it will flood.  Trees do not like standing in water.  Do not fertilize that tree for the first 6 to 12 months and then follow my fertilizing schedule.  Deep water the tree twice a week during the hot dry months.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s