published Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

5 tips on planting fruit trees

If you want the experience of going into your yard to pick tasty fruit from your own trees, now’s the time to plant, said Tim Holcomb, owner of Holcomb Garden Centers in Hixson and Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

“You can plant fruit trees in our area any time of the year if you plant container-grown trees with all their roots,” he said. “Bare-root trees must be planted in the dormant season. We only sell container-grown trees due to the large window of opportunity to plant and the great survival rate.”

5 TIPS

Timing: The best time to plant trees in the Chattanooga area is from October to mid-April.

Best varieties: The top fruit trees grown here are apple, peach, cherry, pear and fig. Although they’re not trees, Holcomb said every orchard should contain some blueberries and grapes.

Requirements: Plant all fruit trees in full sun and in good soil.

Care and Maintenance: Feed the trees each spring and fall with Fruit Tree Food. Spray as needed for insect and disease protection.

Exotics: It is possible to grow banana trees locally. There are some borderline hardy banana trees in our area, though most are grown for the tropical look and not the fruit. You can get fruit from bananas, but they require an extended growing season and are generally brought indoors for the winter. Some local gardeners grow citrus plants, such as the Meyer lemon. These must be grown indoors for the winter, but the blooms are incredibly fragrant and the fruit is tasty.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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