When to plant fruit trees in MD?

Asked November 1, 2018, 12:50 PM EDT

Looking to plant 9-12 fruit trees in Mount Airy MD. Mix of apples, pears, plums, and peaches. I have plenty of space so I wanted to go mid size on the trees. Talking with nurseries they seem to get trees in fall and spring. One is telling me to plant in spring before the trees bud. The other is telling me that they get there larger shipments in the fall and now is a great time as long as I get them in before the ground freezes. What would you suggest.

Maryland fruits trees

1 Response

I recommend that you wait until spring to plant your fruit trees. Our winter weather can be very unpredictable and might be stressful on newly installed trees. You're better off waiting until the spring.

Now would be a good time to work on soil preparation. If you haven't had your soil tested, now would be a good time to do so. The soil pH should be in the 6.2 to 6.8 range. You can find soil testing information on our website: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Here is additional information on getting started with tree fruits. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/Edibles/HG69_G...

I encourage you to take some time to read the information about tree fruits on our website. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tree-fruit Growing tree fruits in Maryland is can be a challenge because of our climate, and the tree fruits you mentioned --apples, peaches, and pears-- are susceptible to several diseases and pest problems. Growing good quality tree fruits typically requires following an annual spray schedule to manage diseases and pests. We encourage fruit growers to follow the Virginia Tech home fruit spray schedule, which can be found here. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/home-fruit-preventative-spray-schedule-and-management-fruit-pr...

Finally, you will also find on our website information about training and pruning fruit trees for best production.