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Old 03-30-2020, 07:29 PM
 
Location: North Jersey to North TX
1,285 posts, read 635,430 times
Reputation: 943

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I'm looking to plant some fruit trees. I have a 1 gallon, 1 quart, 2-3 ft tree and 2-3 inches tree. Someone with experience told me I need to dig 2 x 2 size holes in the ground so the roots don't show on the surface as some of his plants did.

I don't understand how am I going to plan a tree that is already so small 2 feet into the ground? What is the recommendation for planting the sizes I mentioned. Btw, I live in Texas so its all really clay under the ground.
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:48 PM
 
Location: North Jersey to North TX
1,285 posts, read 635,430 times
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2 x 2 in feet
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:18 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,627 posts, read 20,347,024 times
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You can grow the 2-3 inch tree in a pot for awhile longer or someone will step on it if it's out in the yard. If it is planted out in the yard, it may need a small shelter to keep it alive since it's so small.



Dig a hole deeper than the pot they're in. Put soil amendments (if necessary) at the bottom of the hole since that's where the roots are. For the first year, baby them along, it takes trees awhile to get roots going. But by having a large hole filled with good soil, it will give your tree room to grow before it has to deal with the clay.



Since you have a clay soil under the topsoil, dig a big hole (maybe the 2' x 2' like they said) and fill the hole with topsoil. That will give your tree something other than clay to put it's roots into. As for the planting depth, if it's in the pot without it's roots showing, plant it to the same level in the ground.
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
3,044 posts, read 3,706,476 times
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The rule of thumb I follow is....a $5 tree....dig a $10 hole. There are no $5 trees anymore, but you should get the idea. Double the size hole you think the tree will need after spreading the roots.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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I will have to disagree somewhat with some of the recommendations made so far. You do want to dig sufficient sized holes, but it's more important to have the holes wider than deeper. Most new trees are killed by having their roots drowned than anything else, and even mature trees have most of their root system within the top 18 in. of the soil layer. The second thing I'll disagree with is the idea of putting nice soil in the planting hole to "baby" the new roots. The problem here is that the roots will tend to grow entirely within the nice, friable soil in the planting hole and not grow outwards into the clay. They won't form a proper structure that is necessary to support the tree, so that a storm will knock the tree over - you'll see the root ball come out as an intact ball. It's better to set aside the clay that is dug out from the hole and mix a little soil amendment into it, then backfill the hole with the mixture - but the clay should predominate. And make sure to mulch well around, but not touching, the new tree when you're done planting.
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:00 AM
 
Location: North Jersey to North TX
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Oh wow, this is harder than I thought.
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Old 03-31-2020, 11:41 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ~🌄 ☀️ ♥ 🍁 ♥ ☀️🌄~
9,712 posts, read 8,054,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitalprophets View Post
I'm looking to plant some fruit trees. I have a 1 gallon, 1 quart, 2-3 ft tree and 2-3 inches tree. Someone with experience told me I need to dig 2 x 2 size holes in the ground so the roots don't show on the surface as some of his plants did.

I don't understand how am I going to plan a tree that is already so small 2 feet into the ground? What is the recommendation for planting the sizes I mentioned. Btw, I live in Texas so its all really clay under the ground.

Depends on what kind of fruit trees they are. Not all fruit trees have the same planting and growing requirements. So what are they?

Because of your location and growing zone I personally wouldn't plant them in the ground yet. I think your baby trees are way too small and undeveloped to be stuck in the ground and left to their own devices, and the pots you have them in right now are also way too small.

I'd transplant both of the baby trees immediately into much bigger pots, at least 5 times wider and deeper than the 1 gallon pot you have the tallest one in right now. Both of them can go into the same size pots. The soil that I would put into the pots would be a half & half mixture of chopped and crumbled up clay and soil from your own ground mixed well together with a purchased potting mixture suitable for the type of fruit trees that they are.

I'd choose the locations where the trees will eventually be planted permanently, dig holes big enough to accommodate the pots and sink the pots into the holes then loosely fill the dirt back in around the outsides of the pots. The reason for sinking the pots in the ground is for insulation and protection of the roots from extreme seasonal temperatures and to prevent rapid dehydration. Also, if it becomes necessary because of extreme and unusual environmental conditions you have the option of lifting the entire pots out of the holes and can temporarily put them into a safer, more sheltered location.

Because they're in pots in the ground they will have to be watered more frequently but this will give the baby trees a better chance over the course of a 12 to 18 months period to establish stronger side root systems, stronger developed upper branch growth and to give them a bit of a head start on adjusting to the type of clayish soil that they will have to get used to once they are permanently put into the ground. The very smallest tree might have to be left in its big pot for a bit longer than the taller tree.

When they have each become taller, stronger, have better developed roots and upper growth and had the chance to acclimate to the location and environmental conditions then you can slip the soil and rootballs intact directly out of the pots and put them permanently into their holes in the ground and fill the holes in more firmly.

.

Last edited by Zoisite; 03-31-2020 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
28,452 posts, read 27,226,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capitalprophets View Post
Oh wow, this is harder than I thought.
Bungalove and Zoisite have just made it easier. The 3" tree isn't a tree. It's a tiny, newborn infant. Would you leave a baby outside during the summer in Texas? I didn't think so.

You just have to learn how to think like a tree.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:18 PM
 
Location: The Carolinas
2,362 posts, read 2,258,275 times
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Here's what I've heard:

Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and a little bit deeper.

Loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole and create a mount in the center.

Fill the hole with water and let it soak in.

Sprinkle some Miracle Gro, or similar, Shake N Feed fertilizer into the hole.

Unpot the tree and tease the roots over the hole so that the soil that comes off, goes into the hole.

Set the tree into the hole. MAKE SURE THAT THE TOP OF THE ROOT BALL will be slightly higher than ground level plus some for mulch. If you think you planted the tree too deep--you probably did. Better for a tree to be planted too shallow than too deep.

Fill the hole HALF FULL with NATIVE SOIL--do not amend, or the roots won't "grow out". It will become rootbound.

Flood the half full hole with water and let soak in.

Finish filling the hole with native soil. Stepping down and packing the soil to get the tree vertical. There should be a bit of the root ball showing above ground.

Soak it completely again and let soak in.

Mulch around the tree, then pull the mulch back from the trunk about 3-4 inches with the bit of root ball showing. If you don't do this it could lead to disease.

Finally, unless you have a strong, constant, prevailing wind, you do not need to stake or support a tree Strong trees need to struggle a bit and be blown around by the wind--it's good for them.

Sounds complicated, but really not once you've done a couple, you'll never forget.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:43 PM
 
Location: North Jersey to North TX
1,285 posts, read 635,430 times
Reputation: 943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoisite View Post
Depends on what kind of fruit trees they are. Not all fruit trees have the same planting and growing requirements. So what are they?

Because of your location and growing zone I personally wouldn't plant them in the ground yet. I think your baby trees are way too small and undeveloped to be stuck in the ground and left to their own devices, and the pots you have them in right now are also way too small.

I'd transplant both of the baby trees immediately into much bigger pots, at least 5 times wider and deeper than the 1 gallon pot you have the tallest one in right now. Both of them can go into the same size pots. The soil that I would put into the pots would be a half & half mixture of chopped and crumbled up clay and soil from your own ground mixed well together with a purchased potting mixture suitable for the type of fruit trees that they are.

I'd choose the locations where the trees will eventually be planted permanently, dig holes big enough to accommodate the pots and sink the pots into the holes then loosely fill the dirt back in around the outsides of the pots. The reason for sinking the pots in the ground is for insulation and protection of the roots from extreme seasonal temperatures and to prevent rapid dehydration. Also, if it becomes necessary because of extreme and unusual environmental conditions you have the option of lifting the entire pots out of the holes and can temporarily put them into a safer, more sheltered location.

Because they're in pots in the ground they will have to be watered more frequently but this will give the baby trees a better chance over the course of a 12 to 18 months period to establish stronger side root systems, stronger developed upper branch growth and to give them a bit of a head start on adjusting to the type of clayish soil that they will have to get used to once they are permanently put into the ground. The very smallest tree might have to be left in its big pot for a bit longer than the taller tree.

When they have each become taller, stronger, have better developed roots and upper growth and had the chance to acclimate to the location and environmental conditions then you can slip the soil and rootballs intact directly out of the pots and put them permanently into their holes in the ground and fill the holes in more firmly.

.
Mulberry, Pomegranate, Olive and Fig
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