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CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTING LOCATION FOR YOUR FRUIT TREES
Planting fruit trees in the right location is as important as choosing a variety that will survive in your area of the country. Growing your own fruit at home is a great family activity, but careful planning is necessary.
Dwarf trees grow to between 6 and 10 feet tall with at least an equal spread depending on the particular rootstock they were grafted on.
My 14 foot tall fruit tree was labeled as an 8 to 10 foot tall dwarf. Either my apple tree was a semi dwarf that was mislabeled at the nursery (which happens more often than you think,) or else some trees will grow much more vigorously in soil that they happen to like.
NOTE: You must allow for this possibility at the time of planting. Give it room!
Semi dwarf trees are generally described as growing between 10 to 15 feet tall with at least an equal spread.
Standard (full sized) trees usually reach between 20 to 25 feet tall.
Apple trees might exceed that. I have heard reports of 30 to 35 foot tall apple trees, although I have never seen any that approached that height, either in orchards or in a home garden.
Peach, nectarine, and plum trees are naturally smaller than apple, pear, and cherry trees.
A safe planting distance between fruit trees is:
14 to 16 feet apart for Dwarf trees
20 to 22 feet apart for Semi Dwarf trees
And at least 30 feet apart for Standard sized trees.
Standard sized apple trees should be planted 35 feet apart.
RELATED ARTICLE: PLANNING YOUR FRUIT ORCHARD
After deciding on the variety of tree you want to plant, you need to get out the tape measure to make sure you have enough room to plant it. Squeezing a tree into a tiny spot because it seemed so small when you first bought it is a recipe for disappointment. Digging up a young tree and trying to transplant it is going to be way more exercise than you think.
NOTE: This is something you can’t easily dig up and correct later if it is overlooked now. Choose the right location the first time around since transplant shock can kill expensive plants and trees.