How to Take Care of Fruit Trees

There’s nothing like biting into a fresh Georgia peach, but grabbing one from your own backyard is sure to take the sweetness up a notch. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where fruit trees thrive, it’s more than possible to enjoy your own home-grown peaches, berries, and other fresh fruit — as long as you provide the right fruit tree care from the start. Here are our top tips for a fruitful harvest, fresh from the branch!

How to Care for Fruit Trees

Start Out Strong

Proper fruit tree care begins with strategic planting, and there’s a lot you can do before and during the process to encourage healthy growth. First and foremost, make sure you’ve selected the right species for your hardiness zone.

Aside from our state fruit, other stone fruits like nectarines, apricots, cherries, and plums seem to love the climate here in Georgia. Set these trees up for success by placing them in loamy, well-draining soil in an area that gets full sun (think eight to ten hours of direct light per day). These conditions are also great for fig trees, certain apple and pear varieties, and olives.

Next, make sure you’re planting at the right time of year. Spring is ideal for planting flowers, but when it comes to fruit trees, late fall is usually best. Planting a fruit tree just before it goes dormant will give it ample time to establish a strong root system — a factor that will be key to its vitality.

Watch Your Watering

Once you’ve planted your tree, the next step is to practice proper watering. Like many plants, this can be challenging for fruit trees: they need just the right amount of water to thrive, especially when they’re young. The soil should be moist while your tree is growing, but never so wet that it’s completely flooded.

If you have an irrigation system in place already, you might consider adding a line for your fruit tree. Most orchards use irrigation for consistent hydration at the roots. But if this option isn’t feasible, direct watering with a garden hose works, too. You can also help your tree’s roots retain moisture between waterings by surrounding its base with mulch, which will deter weeds, too — a win-win, if you ask us!

Prune to Perfection

The most important time to prune a fruit tree is shortly after planting. Known as formative pruning, this will determine your tree’s shape as it grows. Start as early as the day of planting by carefully removing the ends of any wayward limbs, focusing on areas directly above the space where you’d like a new limb to grow. These trims will then encourage growth among lower branches for a full, even shape — and a bountiful harvest.

Get Picking!

Once your tree has blossomed, the flowers have fallen away, and new fruit has had a chance to develop, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! But believe it or not, there’s a science to harvesting, too. Aim to pick at peak ripeness, since removing fruit too early won’t give it a chance to ripen. Keep in mind, however, that leaving it too long can reduce flavor and eventually attract pests. There’s no universal best time that works for all trees, as factors like fruit type and climate determine the best time for picking. Instead, keep an eye out for signs of ripeness — most fruit is at full color, and slightly soft but not mushy when it’s at its peak.

Schedule a Service With Premier Tree Solutions

Fruit tree care can be fairly simple, but it never hurts to call in the experts when you’re dealing with vulnerable young saplings. Here at Premier Tree Solutions, we’re well-versed in hand pruning and will tend to your trees and shrubs with the utmost level of care. Contact us for a free estimate on these and any other tree care services by sending us a message or by calling (404) 252-6448.

The Best Trees for Bees and Pollinators

Providing shade, beauty, noise dampening, and breathable air… the perks trees provide for us seem to go on and on. But if you’re planting trees to benefit wildlife — such as our precious pollinators — well, we think you’re the bees’ knees.

Bees support up to 75% of flowering plants and 35% of crops grown across the globe through pollination, but factors like pesticides and loss of natural habitats have become a looming threat to these essential insects. Choosing to incorporate bee-friendly trees into your yard is one of the best ways to support them.

Here’s a closer look at the relationship between trees and pollinators, and the most beneficial varieties you can plant to help them thrive.

How Do Trees Support Bees and Other Pollinators?

Trees provide some of the most basic needs pollinators have for survival: food and shelter. Certain flowering trees offer sustenance through nectar and pollen, as well as the materials bees need to produce honey — the food that helps them survive the winter. And while flowers and shrubs do produce some blooms, trees often hold more weight when it comes to supporting insects. Because trees provide so many buds in one concentrated area, bees  don’t have to travel far to get nourishment.

For certain bees, trees also offer up some buzz-worthy real estate. Cavity-nesting bees lay eggs inside the holes created by insect-chasing birds like woodpeckers, while tunnel-nesting bees drill directly into decaying branches. But even for the majority of bee species that live underground, having a windbreak in the form of thick tree screens can be helpful for staying on course.

As for other pollinators, trees offer habitats and sustenance for these species, too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, and beetles are just a few examples of the creatures who feed on nectar from flowering trees alongside bees. Bats and moths take refuge in shady trees as they rest by day, before their PM pollination begins after sunset. Another lesser known pollinator, ants, can also be found nesting in the nooks and hollows of mature trees. (Though sometimes, ant infestations are a sign that your tree is decaying — if that’s the case, give us a call, pronto!)

What Are the Best Trees for Bees and Other Pollinators?

An added bonus for planting bee-friendly trees: many of the species that attract these pollinators will bring added value to your property, too. For fewer trips to the farmer’s market, fruit trees like peaches, pears, cherries, and apples are an excellent landscape enhancement for drawing bees in. If aesthetics are your primary goal, flowering dogwoods and southern magnolia can add beauty and elegance while offering big perks for the pollinators.

Seeking a shady canopy? You can’t go wrong with a Japanese maple. Their large leaves will keep you cool all summer. And though their flowers won’t draw much attention (from the human eye — pollinators love them!), their spectacle of fall foliage is a sight to behold. Black Tupelo is another autumnal favorite, with flowers rich in the honey-making nutrients that will attract bees each spring.

Schedule a Pruning Service With Premier Tree Solutions

Any of the trees above will offer value for your yard and the surrounding wildlife for years to come, but maintaining them isn’t always easy. Many require precise pruning to support their shape and structural integrity, which is where our expertise comes in. Turn to Premier Tree Solutions for meticulous hand pruning, along with a host of other tree care and removal services. Request a free assessment today by sending us a message or by calling (404) 252-6448.