The Green Thumb: Bare-root plants ready now
by Linda Edwards / For the Tracy Press
Jan 17, 2013 | 2741 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
January is here, and it’s the perfect time to plant bare-root fruit trees and prune established fruit trees.

Bare-root plants should be just starting to arrive at most nurseries. This is the best way to establish most fruit trees and berries.

There are many varieties to choose from, and the best news is that the dwarf varieties are endless. If your yard cannot accommodate the larger varieties, most dwarf fruit trees will flourish in a pot.

Try to choose a self-fruiting tree, which does not need a mate to produce fruit.

For apricots, Harcot is an excellent choice.

Nectarines also do not require a pollinator. Snow Queen is a good one.

Peaches grow well without a mate, too. One good choice is O’Henry.

When you decide which bare-root tree you will plant, make sure to examine the roots before you put it in the ground and cut off any that are broken or kinked.

Avoid cutting any excessively long roots; instead, dig a bigger hole to accommodate the roots and straighten them to prevent kinking.

Begin backfilling loose soil and lightly pat down around the roots; then add the remaining soil and pat further.

Pruning established trees will help maintain plant health.

Always begin by removing dead, diseased and injured wood.

The next step is to control and shape plant growth. Start by removing all crossing branches and wayward limbs.

Pruning is also used to increase flower and fruit production and quality.

You can access the UC Davis website (http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu) for further advice on selecting trees and pruning options. Happy gardening.

• The Green Thumb is a column by Tracy’s master gardeners. University of California-certified master gardeners are available to answer gardening

questions from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 953-6112 or mgsanjoaquin@ucdavis.edu.
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