Growing Fruit Trees in Maine
Fruit trees require a minimum of 4 hours of sun daily, a well-drained, slightly acidic soil which is high in organic matter. A heavy soil should be amended with gypsum, manures and peat moss to lighten the soil, so that the tree's roots can breathe and penetrate through the soil. A sandy soil needs to be amended with peat moss and manures to retain even moisture so that the trees do not dry out so quickly. A soil test is recommended so that the proper pH can be obtained to aid in your tree's growth and production of fruit. Fruit trees will not grow in wet soils.
The following is a list of fruit trees and their pollination requirements:
Apples: Two different varieties are required for cross pollination. Yellow Delicious will not pollinate McIntosh
Apricots: When planting apricots in colder regions, two trees are recommended for best results.
Cherry: Sour cherries are self-fruitful. Sweet cherries need a pollinator. Stella (a sweet cherry) is self-fruitful.
Nut Trees: Two or more trees of the same variety are required for good pollination, as they are wind pollinated.
Peach: Peach trees are self-fruitful.
Pear: Plant two different varieties for cross-pollination. Bartlett is a poor pollinator for Seckel.
Plum: Plant two different varieties.
European and oriental types do not cross-pollinate.
A general purpose complete fertilizer with the analysis of 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 is appropriate. These three numbers represent Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
Nitrogen:Gives the plant green growth.
Phosphorus: Aids the plants in root development.
Potassium: Helps the plant build cells, aids in root development and enables the plant to stay vigorous and fight off diseases. Greensand is an excellent source of potassium. Greensand comes from the ocean floor and has small quantities of many nutrients in addition to potassium.
Sol-Po-Mag: This is an organic fertilizer that provides the plants with sulfur, potassium and magnesium. These three elements are often depleted from our soils and need to be added to aid in fruit production and to help the tree maintain its fruit while ripening.
Dehydrated Manure: Is an excellent source of organic fertilizer that can be applied to the trees. We recommend you apply a complete fertilizer in addition to manure to ensure a balanced diet for your trees.