Planting fruit trees in the spring
I want to plant two kinds of fruit trees: peach (preferably white peach) and a tart cherry.
Where can I find and buy trees either native to Maryland, or known to grow well in Maryland? What types or species should I try to get? Is there a place on your site that gives instructions for spring planting? Is March too late to plant them? Thank you,
Howard County Maryland
Here is some general information on fruit trees. Tree fruits can be a challenge to grow for the average homeowner. Peach and apples tend to have the most pest and disease problems and they need to be on a strict spray schedule. Asian pears, Japanese persimmons, and figs may be a better choice. Figs grow best in the warmer areas of Maryland but will still need some winter protection from freezing temperatures. Better yet, are small fruits like raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries which are less problematic providing the bed is properly prepared before planting. If you do plant fruit trees, research and select the most disease resistant varieties. They should not be an impulse purchase.
Take a look at our publication Getting Started With Tree Fruits for planting information, varieties, and a list of mail order sources. Once you know what you are looking for it is possible some local nurseries may have the trees in stock. These trees are not native.
Spring is a good time to plant as soon as the soil can be worked. Select the most disease resistant varieties as possible.You will have to familiarize yourself with and manage and prevent pest problems. The trees may require a spray schedule for insect and disease issues.