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Soil & Drainage

Most fruit trees prefer a moderately fertile, well-drained soil.  How do you know if your soil is well drained?  Easy: dig a hole large enough to accommodate your tree roots (about 2’ x 2’) and fill it with water.  Let it drain and fill it again.  If you still have water in the hole after 12 – 24 hours you likely have a drainage issue.  If so, your options are 1) find a better draining site for fruit trees 2) plant your trees on a mound  to promote drainage and avoid “wet feet” (i.e. having the tree roots in standing water for long periods of time).  Cherries and Walnuts will not tolerate heavy wet soils.   Fruit trees that tolerate heavy soils include Plum, Apple, Pear, Asian Pear, Persimmon, Currant and Filbert. You can grow fruit trees right in your garden beds if you wish, just be sure to keep overhead water out of the canopy as it can create disease problems.