Master the Basic Principles of Planting and Managing Fruit Trees

Avoid:

Planting trees in areas prone to flooding

Avoid planting trees on very steep slopes ( greater than 35 degrees)

Avoid soil contaminated by toxic water and in which similar type crops were affected by soil borne disease

 Where Possible:

Choose site with fertile, deep and free-draining soil and readily available irrigation water

Land Preparation:

Clear site of bushes, trees and rubble

Stake out area according to the recommended planting distance for the crop being considered e.g. dwarf Juneplum - 10 inches by 10 inches or 15 inches by 15 inches

Dig holes 60 cm  by 60 cm by 60 cm or larger

Ensure that the first 30 cm of top soil is placed on one side of the hole and the remaining sub-soil is put on another side

Add 5 to 10 lbs. organic matter to each hole plus top soil and mix well into hole, after which subsoil should be added

Planting:
Only plants that have been properly hardened and labeled should be chosen
Select healthy plants showing a good root system
Never use plants with bench, fork and swan neck roots

How To Plant:
Carefully remove plant from bag avoiding damage of “root ball”
Examine the root for defect; any bench root should be cut above the bend
Remove enough soil from the centre of the hole to allow the plant to fit inside
Cover plants with soil no higher than the level which was in the bag
Compact soil around the root ball of the plant to remove air pockets and allow roots to make contact with the soil
Irrigate immediately after planting
Mulch where possible and stake as required
Irrigate three times per week
A general recommendation is to apply 4 to 8 litres or 1 -2 gallons per cycle per tree in the early stages of crop growth

Weed Control:
This activity is vital to health and productivity of the plant and should be conducted, as often as is necessary

Fertilizing:

Fertilizer should be applied based upon leaf and soil analysis, which should be repeated every five years.

RADA recommends you consult with your Agricultural Extension Officers which are located in every parish.

Where analysis is not done the following is recommended; apply 454gram or a one pound amount of mixed fertilizer per plant in 2 to 3 split applications during the first year.

Increase by 454 grams per plant per year up to ten years.

How To Fertilize:
In year one bury fertilizer in 2 -3 holes around the plant at 30 cm or 12 inches from the main stem
From year two onwards, apply fertilizer to the outer two thirds of the drip circle
Watering must follow fertilizer application

Pruning:

To prune a tree is to cut of unwanted parts from it
Reason for pruning: to keep tree at a height that allows for easy reaping and general tree management.
Trees should be pruned to prevent them from attaining a height beyond 15 feet
For young trees, pruning should start at a height of 90 cm – 120 cm
For bearing trees pruning should take place after reaping
The Rural Agricultural Development Authority does not offer pruning or tree management as a service however we can provide the tools citizen may use to carry out these activities

Types of Pruning:
Pinch Pruning
Rejuvenating Pruning
Regulated pruning
Remedial pruning
Renewal Pruning

Further information can be had from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority by calling 1-888-ASK-RADA or contacting the Communications and Public Relations Department.

Last modified onTuesday, 14 April 2015 15:00
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