TFB | January 31, 2017
If you hope to enjoy fresh Texas peaches, plums or other fruits in the coming years, the time to plant fruit trees is now.
Dr. Larry Stein, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension horticulturalist, says it’s the prime time to plant fruit trees to get the roots established before springtime.
“The sooner the better,” Stein said in a recent report in AgriLife Today.
Because chilling requirements differ by area and are important when raising fruit trees, Stein encourages potential growers to contact their local Extension horticulturalist for advice on the best varieties for a particular area.
“Trees you would grow in San Antonio you wouldn’t grow in Dallas because they would bloom way too early and then the fruit would probably freeze,” Stein said.
Properly chosen varieties will produce higher quality fruit with better taste and stronger disease resistance.
Another factor that plays a role in Texas fruit production is, of course, the weather. Because this winter has been warmer than normal, some areas may not see the number of chill hours needed for fruit trees to perform as expected.
If an area doesn’t get enough cool weather, Stein said, the trees could struggle to break dormancy and bloom.
“And a lot of times if they do bloom under those conditions, the fruit will abort,” he said.
Much of the state has seen good weather, according to Stein, and that soil moisture conditions are at optimal levels for planting.
“You should expect 100 percent success if you plant now,” Stein said. Read more…