Ways of Making Your Fruit Trees Grow Faster

Growing fruitful trees can be challenging. It requires an enormous level of dedication, patience and care. Some fruit trees can take up to 7 years to grow a piece of fruit. Knowledge is a prerequisite before even embarking on the process of buying or planting a tree. You need to know which trees can be planted in your environment and what you need to do to ensure that the trees are fruitful. 

We have listed a few ways to encourage your trees to grow and yield fruits faster. 

Purchase indigenous fruit trees specific to your climate

South Africa is home to a lot of fruits such as apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, coconuts, grapefruit, guavas, lemons, naartjies, oranges, pawpaw and pears, just to name a few. It is highly tempting to just choose your favourite fruit to plant, but it’s imperative that you select trees that are indigenous to your environment. Indigenous trees grow well in optimal conditions. Many make the mistake of purchasing a tree based on their preferences instead of taking into consideration what is best for the tree. Fruit trees strive in fertile, sunny, well-drained soil that’s not prone to frost. Some fruit trees prefer full sun, whereas others prefer semi-shade. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes prefer warm conditions. They are a great alternative to evergreens because they bloom all year and emit a lovely fragrance.

Non-indigenous trees especially exotic trees tend to struggle in unfavourable environments. Exotic trees are generally harder to maintain, they may require excessive amounts of water as well as additional nutrition. Some fruit trees are not frost or drought-tolerant, so you need to be well aware of your environment and whether those trees are suitable for your environment. 

Purchase trees that have two years of growth

Waiting for a fruit tree to reach its age of production can be a long and dreadful process while selecting a tree that is at least 2 years old will get you to that fruiting stage that much faster. Apple trees can grow almost anywhere in South Africa. Fig Trees are also fast-growing trees. They are low-maintenance trees that happen to be self-pollinators, so there’s no need to purchase more than one. 

Most trees that are transplanted require approximately 2 years to develop a sufficiently strong root system to bear the weight of growing fruit. Some fruit trees can take up to 10 years to reach the fruiting stage, so getting that 2 years’ head start will make a huge difference. 

Purchase “fast-growing” trees

If you are looking to enjoy the fruits of your labour in a shorter period, it’s best to opt for fast-growing trees. Red delicious apples, for instance, are known to be stronger and more disease resistant. Peaches, pears, plums and citrus trees become highly productive when it comes to fruit production faster than most apples, blueberries and kiwis. Most stone fruit will surpass a nut tree (apart from hazelnuts) in terms of years to harvest. 

Dwarf trees are also highly recommended. Dwarf trees, in horticultural practice, are trees that are artificially kept to a smaller size than their average members of the species. The fastest-growing trees are often those that have been grafted onto a hearty dwarf tree root ball. Dwarf trees still produce full-size fruits that are the same quality as semi-dwarf and standard fruit trees do. These compact trees can often be seen planted in large containers and placed on patios. 

Plant them using a layered ground method

Layering is a planting technique where the new plant remains at least partially attached to the mother (old) plant while forming new roots and can occur naturally through modified stem structures. The rooted stem is then detached to become a new plant growing on its own root system. Ground layering has numerous benefits and is considered one of the most effective propagation methods. It can produce larger trees faster than propagating trees from seeds. Ground layering does not deplete the new tree from nutrients and water while the roots are being developed.  

Ground layering is useful with heavy-stemmed, closely branched shrubs and rootstocks of tree fruits. You will have to cut the tree back to 2.5cm above the soil surface in winter. Dormant buds will produce new sprouts in the Spring. You will then have to mound soil over the new sprouts as they grow. As time goes by, roots will develop at the bases of the young sprouts. You will then have to remove the layers in the upcoming winter season. Ground layering can be done with most plants that have branches growing close to the ground such as apples, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Provide your trees with the necessary boost in Spring

It’s common knowledge that most trees thrive in Spring. There are a few techniques to use to boost your trees’ growth and ensure that they yield fruit faster. Fertilizer is a great booster for trees. There are numerous fertilizers available for sale. You need to buy a fertilizer specifically made for fruit trees with high levels of potash. Irrespective of whether you have standard trees, dwarf trees or semi-dwarf trees you will need to provide your trees with the necessary boost. 

Pruning stimulates growth, enhances the tree’s health, and helps with pest control and insect management. You will need to remove any diseased, damaged and dead tree limbs. It’s best to remove any tree limbs that are growing inward, toward the tree instead of away from it. Water sprouts and suckers steal the highly required nutrients from the fruit-bearing branches, so they will also need to be removed. It’s recommended that you prune about one-third of the year’s growth at the end of the season when the tree goes dormant. This will encourage new growth for the year. These are just a few ways of making your fruit trees grow faster and help them yield fruit sooner. If you currently do not own any fruit trees and looking to purchase some, don’t hesitate to contact us. Just Trees has a wide selection of fruit trees including pecan nuts, Macadamia nuts, pomegranate, limes and lemons. Visit www.justtrees.co.za to make your purchase today. 

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