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How to plant a fruit tree

Fruit trees provide food for many types of insects and wildlife, whilst also providing cover and shelter. Once established, fruit trees provide an abundance of fruit year after year and require minimal care. Fruit trees are like most perennials in that planting in the dormant season (winter) is preferable because the roots can settle in before they need to get to work absorbing moisture. Planting in the summer is OK if the rootball is not disturbed too much and you are constantly on hand to water if the weather is dry.

red admiral on rotting apples

How to plant a fruit tree for wildlife

  1. Get your tree from a local fruit tree nursey and a stake to keep it upright. Find a tree provider near you here.
  2. It’s better to plant bare-rooted trees in the winter, but containerised trees can be planted all year if you can keep them well watered.
  3. Prepare your tree by soaking the roots beforehand for around 30-60 mintues.
  4. Plant fruit trees in a sunny and sheltered spot so that the fruit can ripen up well.
  5. Once you’ve decided where your tree will go, dig a hole a third wider than the roots and line the bottom of the hole with the top part of the removed soil. Put your stake in now.
  6. Trim off long roots rather than curl them around. Place your tree into the hole when the soil is moist but avoid frosty or very cold days.
  7. Backfill the hole making sure there are no air pockets and attach it to the stake with a flexible tie.

For information on aftercare and practical guides please visit our orchard web pages.

Click image to download instructions:

fruit tree instructions

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Take a photo of your tree and submit it below, or post on social media and inspire others to do the same!

How to plant a fruit tree

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