Tools for Tree Planting

Assemble Your Tools!

While none of these are hard-to-find, they’re so very handy to have on-hand for planting. Fruition’s Apple Abundance Kit shares some of the harder-to-find tools to help up to five apple trees truly come to fruition. Below you’ll find our checklist to keep it both simple and joyful!

Fruition’s Apple Abundance Kit includes:

  • 5 metal permanent tree labels
  • 5 plastic rodent guards and
  • 15 UV-resistant orchard bands to help staking your tree (each tree needs 3!)

In addition, you’ll need:

  • Shovel/Pick Mattock In most soils, the best shovels to use for planting trees are steel round-pointed ones, the standard type that probably comes to mind for digging holes. If they’re slightly pointed at the end, they’ll be easier to use. In rocky soil, a pick mattock or nursery spade can be helpful for initially loosening up the soil to make for easier shoveling. 
  • Digging Fork In loose, dry and sandy soils a digging fork may not be necessary, but when more saturated and heavy soils are sliced with a shovel, a sheer line may form around the hole’s edge that tree roots will resist growing into. In these cases, loosening or ‘leavening’ the hole’s edge with a digging fork helps reduce compaction and increase root expansion capacity.
  • Clippers Broken branches, roots and small suckers are better clipped than broken off. Fruition’s bare root stock won’t likely require any pruning, though other trees may benefit from a ‘heading cut’ to encourage branching.
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  • Stakes Not all trees require staking, though Fruition’s semi-dwarf rootstocks definitely do. The sooner the better! So plan to stake them as you plant. Stakes 10′ tall and between 1/2-inch and one inch is optimal. We’ll share the stakes we use at Fruition’s Garden Store in spring!
  • Wheelbarrow Once your tree is planted, a wheelbarrow is useful for transporting compost and wood chips to the tree. If you’re doing quite a few, a tractor is quite a convenient wheelbarrow!
  • Rodent Guards need to be put on each tree in fall and removed in spring. We share the ones we use in our Apple Abundance Kit as well as at our Garden Store in Spring!
  • Compost and Soil Amendments Spring is best for applying soil amendments, see our Soil Testing for Trees and Orchards blog to learn more and see how we mix and apply them! If you’re planting in fall, it’s better to hold off on fertilizing until after winter has passed, since nitrogen applied in fall can cause trees to put on vegetative growth during the wrong time of year and then not harden off in time for winter.
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  • Wood Chips The sooner wood chip mulch can be placed around the tree after planting, the better. Immediately is always best! Wood chips keep grass from growing near the trunk, which also means less damage from mice and borers. 
  • Water Trees need watering as soon as they are planted and again, to saturation point, each day after until the first decent rainfall. Whether by hose or by bucket, keeping this and future waterings simple is crucial for the tree’s health as well as yours.
  • Fence If you don’t have a perimeter deer fence, metal caging is a great option for the first few years while the tree establishes. Stay tuned for details on how to protect your tree from deer, mice, porcupine and weed whackers ~
  • Friends! Are so lovely to plant trees with! We planted our first twenty trees with Maddie, Heron and Sarah, from left to right. We laughed a lot and learned a lot and we hope you do, too!
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Fruition’s current online tree growing resources are focused on Apple Trees (and it is also true that Pears, Plums, Peaches, Apricots and Cherries require much the same site choice, planting, and basic care considerations!) On that note, we hope you'll enjoy Fruition's free full library of Growing Trees Resources. Also recommended are all books by the late Michael Phillips and the online resources at the New England Tree Fruit Management Guide. In the meantime, enjoy more Fruition tree growing resources:

Apple Tree Growing Guide
Fruit Q&Qs pre-recorded Webinar Library
and join us for future live Fruit Q&Q webinars here!

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~When you join us, check your inbox for your welcome & access info! Stay tuned for our weekly organic gardening tips & inspiration, as well~