Spring is here, and many of us want to get back outside and in our gardens. Perhaps, you’re looking to diversify your garden this year with a new fruit tree. One question we often hear is, “When is the best time to plant fruit trees?” Today, we’re here to answer that question and provide you with some insights on growing a fruit tree!

What Are Plant Hardiness Zones?

Before you can get into planting, you’ll need to understand plant hardiness zones in order to set your garden up for success. According to the USDA, plant hardiness zones are “the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which perennial plants are most likely to thrive at a location.” Their interactive map allows you to see exactly what zone you’re in. 

The lower the zone number is, the colder the region—the higher the number is, the warmer the region. When deciding what you want in your garden, look up which plants thrive in your zone—this gives your plants a better chance of survival and growing as strong and beautiful as they can.

How to Plant a Fruit Tree

Here are some steps you can take to successfully plant a fruit tree in your garden: 

  • Research your plant hardiness zone and choose a tree that will do well in your area. 
  • Decide whether you want to have your tree in a pot or the ground. There are pros and cons to both, so determine which option best suits your garden and abilities. 
  • Purchase quality soil and mulch to plant your tree. 
  • Purchase your tree of choice. 
  • Determine a space that has the right amount of sun exposure for the tree you chose. 
  • If you’re planting in the ground, dig a hole to fit the roots, place the tree in the hole, and fill it with soil. If you’re using a pot, find a pot that comfortably fits the roots with extra space, place the tree in the pot, and fill it with soil.

After that, follow our care plan year-round to help your tree flourish!

What Is the Easiest Fruit to Grow in Florida?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that gardening and growing fruit in Florida is a difficult task. This is not the case at all—in fact, Florida’s unique climate is perfect for all sorts of delicious tropical fruits. Now, it’s important to keep in mind that Florida has three plant hardiness zones within its borders—ranging from zone 9 to zone 11—so some fruit trees may not do as well in North Florida during colder months. 

Most famously, citrus trees can grow almost anywhere in Florida, so if you want orange juice from your own trees, citrus is the place to start! Some other fruit trees that do well in Florida include: 

  • Peaches
  • Avocado
  • Papaya 
  • Bananas 
  • Mangoes
  • Apples

And so much more! Do some research into what fruit trees you would like to have in your garden and if they do well in zones 9 through 11. 

What Month Should Fruit Trees Be Planted?

Like many other things with gardening, the best month to plant your fruit tree will depend on the zone you live in. Generally, if you live in zone 7 or lower, you have to be more cautious of when you plant your fruit tree—zones 8 and above have more flexibility. Another factor that affects when you should plant your fruit tree is whether it’ll be potted or in the ground. Potting your tree protects it more from the elements, so you have more flexibility in planting time. 

For zones 7 and lower, you can only really plant in the spring months if you’re planting it in the ground. If you’re using a pot, you can plant almost any month, but the winter may still be a less-than-ideal time to plant your tree. 

For zones 8 and above, you can plant your tree at any time of the year if you’re using a pot. If you’re planting in the ground, you can also plant your fruit tree at any time, but summer months may pose harsh conditions for a young tree. 

Is It Better to Plant Fruit Trees in the Spring or Fall?

Based on the information above, you may be wondering if it’s better to plant in the fall so you have fruit for spring or in the spring so you have fruit for fall. The answer, in our expert opinion, is spring. Root growth is why late spring/early summer is the best time for most fruit trees. Roots planted in the fall have to weather the winter and may not be strong or deep enough to withstand even a mild winter. Roots planted in spring have several months to grow until temperatures drop and will better withstand the winter temperature fluctuations

When Will My Tree Produce Fruit? 

As exciting as planting a new fruit tree is, you’ll have to be patient before you can enjoy any fruit. Depending on the type of fruit tree, you may be waiting around three to five years before it produces fruit. If you want to speed up this process, you can purchase a more mature tree to reduce the waiting period.

Care for Your Fruit Trees with Gaston’s Tree Service

Trees beautify our yards, gardens, and homes, but they can also take a lot of work. Luckily, you don’t have to do tree care alone! Gaston’s Tree Service does everything from maintenance tree trimming to emergency tree removal. With Gaston’s, you can rest assured that your trees are healthy and not a risk to your home or family. Whether you’re new to planting trees or have been gardening for years, contact us today for a free quote to see how we can benefit your trees!