Light requirements for fruit trees

Light requirements for fruit trees

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Light requirements for fruit trees can be difficult, even when you're growing them in a sunny spot or on a south-facing wall, and in autumn the leaves on the fruit trees can go entirely dark. Even if you can't see the leaves, by selecting fruit varieties with intense pigmentation and complementary leaves, you can see colour through the fruit at the same time.


Selecting the right spot for the fruit tree is as important as selecting the right tree and variety. It's always best to plant a fruit tree in a warm, sheltered spot where the tree can get full sun, either morning or afternoon sun, with good air movement. If you have a sandy, gravel or shaded site that receives less than 1,000 hours of sunshine a year, you'll probably have to fertilize regularly to encourage fruit growth. If you live in a temperate region, you'll need to replant your fruit trees after three or four years, as they start to get a bit tired at 10 years old and then you'll be left with bare trunks and a void in the garden centre for the next generation of tree fruit enthusiasts.

##### **FERTILIZER**

If you can't take your tree to the nursery (not all fruit trees are available for purchase from nurseries) and you don't have your own large garden, you'll need to buy a nitrogen fertilizer (you'll need several bags of it) or another type of fertilizer to encourage plant growth. The fertilizers that are available at nurseries and garden centres are full of additives that don't promote vigorous, healthy growth of your fruit tree and can have a negative effect on the fruit.

Nurseries and garden centres also offer balanced fertilizers that contain organic matter and may have ingredients in them that stimulate good tree growth, including phosphorous and potassium. These fertilizers often contain trace elements that your tree needs, such as manganese and magnesium, which are very important for healthy growth. ( _See the appendix for the most common fertilizers you'll find at nurseries._ ) Make sure you select fertilizers that encourage tree growth rather than rapid leaf growth. If you're growing your tree in a pot, you'll also need a fertilizer with potassium. Don't use synthetic fertilizers, and don't use phosphorus-rich fertilizers in autumn, as these can encourage 'frost killing'.

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**A word about fertilizers**

It's important to fertilize your fruit trees according to their needs – take a look at your fertilizer labels before you buy them and choose a fertilizer that's specific for fruit trees and gardens. You'll also need to rotate the fertilizers that you use if you live in a hot, dry climate and don't use the same fertilizer year after year.

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##### **VARIETY**

You can find most fruit trees for sale in nurseries and garden centres, and if you're lucky you can choose your tree's type and colour of fruit. However, the 'typical' tree that's available in many nurseries and garden centres is probably the only one that will bear the fruit you're looking for. It doesn't matter what you think of the variety as long as the tree can produce fruit. There are three very important considerations that you need to know when you choose the fruit tree that you're going to grow.

• **Size and age.** You'll need to determine how big the tree is and how old it is. You can usually determine the tree's age by counting its years, but if you don't know how old your tree is, you can tell by its size. A fruit tree should grow at least 10–12 feet tall, and if it's young you should be able to see two or more branches emerging from the tree trunk. If your tree is much older than this, the tree will probably have branched out a little but the number of branches will be fewer. Fruit trees grow very slowly and don't have to grow very large to be productive, it's best to select a tree that's about 10–15 feet tall, depending on the variety you've chosen.

• **Height.** Another important consideration is tree height. You need to determine how tall the tree grows so that you know if it will fit into the space in your garden that you want it to occupy. If you're going to put your tree in a spot that you've identified as being the perfect place for it, then you should choose a tree that is about the same height as the space that it needs to fill. A tree can grow to anywhere between 15 and 30 feet tall, and when you're growing a tree in a pot, it'll need to reach a little taller than you'd expect.

• **Clones or seeds?** Before you decide to buy fruit trees, you need to know whether you want to choose clones or seeds. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.Jauh lebih mudah untuk membangun pohon Anda dari benih, tetapi Anda tidak akan memiliki jaminan bahwa pohon Anda akan identik, karena tanaman yang Anda beli di pembibitan atau pusat kebun sering kali hanya banyak biji dengan sedikit akar, cabang dan daun. Klon diproduksi dari tunas terminal kecil yang menghasilkan lebih atau kurang pohon yang sama dari mana ia berasal. Karena pohon ditanam dari batang daripada akar, Anda dapat yakin bahwa pohon akan identik secara genetik dan dapat dicangkokkan dengan pohon lain untuk menciptakan banyak varietas.

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