By Nita Schiro, Master Gardener
If you have ever planted trees on your property, chances are good that one is a fruit tree. Peach trees are especially popular with home gardeners. And, the time is near to begin thinking of where you might plant another one. Better sooner than later to make sure the tree’s roots get a head start before spring.
The Montgomery County Master Gardeners also love growing fruit trees, and each January holds a Fruit and Nut Tree sale with hundreds of trees, vines, nuts and berries that grow and thrive in our area. Be sure to mark the date for this year’s sale – January 26th, 2019 from 8:00 am (for the pre-sale program), then shop from 9:00 am until 12:00 noon.
The best time to plant fruit trees (peach or other) is while they are dormant, anywhere from December through early March. In our climate, early planting provides good root establishment before bud break. Choose a sunny spot with good drainage. Check one or more of the resources at the end of the article to help you prepare your area for planting. We hope you will get your landscape ready to plant before the sale, so you can take your trees home and plant them right away.
The varieties that grow particularly well in the state are divided by the chill hours required during winter months, to set fruit the following year. Chill hours are defined as the number of hours colder than 45 degrees F from the first date of frost. We never know what kind of winter we will have, but fruit trees will reflect whatever comes this way.
The MCMGA is offering two varieties of Apple trees this year – the Anna and the Dorsett Golden. Both varieties have low chill requirements and produce medium to large size apples. Although the Anna is a self-fruiting variety, planting both varieties will ensure you have good pollination while boosting your apple production. The Anna apple can be harvested in late June, while the Dorsett Golden apples mature a little later in the season. We will also have available the popular Tex King, the Tex Star, Mid Pride, and Red Baron peach trees. Tex King and Tex Star are recommended varieties patented by Texas A&M University and are considered mid-chill varieties. Tex King produces a yellow-fleshed, clingstone peach that matures early in the season. Tex Star is a semi-cling variety, sets heavy fruit, and ripens in early June. Both varieties require approximately 450 chill hours. The Mid Pride and Red Baron, two of our most popular sellers, have even lower chill requirements, from 200-300 hours.
In addition to these fruit trees, we will have many citrus varieties, blackberries, blueberries, and pecan trees, plus many more to choose from. Click here for a complete listing MCMGA 2019 JANUARY FRUIT AND NUT TREE SALE Plant Listing.
Be sure to watch for additional information about the upcoming Fruit and Nut Tree Sale being held on January 26th at 9020 Airport Road in Conroe, Texas. Visit www.mcmga.com often to check for the list of items being offered or call (936) 539-7824 to speak to a master gardener.
We hope to see you there. Master Gardeners will be plentiful and will gladly help you decide on which trees or berries to purchase and enjoy for years to come.
This is an excellent resource for fruit and nut trees:
Check out these YouTube videos about growing trees and berries: