Planting an orchard in the fall

Asked August 25, 2014, 8:17 PM EDT

We want (and in some ways must) plant an orchard this fall, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where to get trees at that time of year. Also, there is a lot of information about early spring planting time, but I'm not sure when a good time, specifically, is for fall planting. What's the best month to plant an orchard in the fall? Thanks in advance for your help!

Josephine County Oregon orchard tree fruit horticulture

2 Responses

Planting fruit trees in the fall is fine once the weather begins to cool and the plants you buy are at least starting to lose their leaves and going dormant. As you said it is more difficult to find fruit trees in the fall to plant because most nurseries wait until the trees have lost their leaves before they dig them up bare root. It is important to wait until the trees go dormant so they can store the maximum amount of carbohydrate in the root for winter. Most nurseries wait until December to dig and then start selling bare root in January. If you want to plant earlier than that you often have to buy last years bare root trees that did not sell and were potted up by the retail nursery. These trees are usually pot bound and larger girth in the trunk due to their age. They are also more expensive. You will have to call around to wholesale nurseries to see which is digging bare root trees the earliest. There is one in Eugene called the Eugene Wholesale nursery that will sell direct to the public if you buy a good number of trees. You might call them to see if they have any varieties you are looking for. 541-688-1225. You may have some wholesale nurseries in Josephine County who will sell direct to the public but I am not aware of them.

Thank you very much for this clear explanation and the nursery tip. What a wonderful resource you are!