Growing Fruit Trees

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Peaches on tree


Today I would like to talk with you about food production and more specifically growing fruit trees. Growing fruit is an option for anyone in North Carolina though the types of fruit you can grow may vary depending on your location. In the North Carolina Piedmont, we can produce a variety of fruits such as apples, figs, pears, persimmons, peaches, and plums just to name a few.

Growing fruit trees requires a time commitment and here are a few steps for success. First site selection is a crucial and often overlooked component. Consider available space and available sunlight. Is there anything that will interfere with tree planting in growth? This might include buildings, other trees, power lines, and other utilities such as cable, internet, phone, gas, water, and sewer.

Before digging make sure you call North Carolina 811. Which will contact the relevant companies to mark infrastructure that could be damaged or cause you damage during digging. Second, we want to talk about sunlight. Sunlight is critical for fruit production and fruit trees require a minimum of six hours of direct sun per day. So ensure that neither other trees nor structures are casting shade on the proposed growing area. Lastly, make sure you always reference your soil sample report to identify what if any lime needs to be added to the soil. A soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is Optimum for fruit tree growth.

If you have questions about soil sampling make sure you contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Union County. now the fun part is picking which tree to grow. pick the one that you or your family will enjoy growing and eating and for more information on fruit trees please see the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Union County website or visit the NC Extension Gardener Handbook and the chapter fruit trees and nuts.