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Fruit Tree Care

Planting Zones

Our Fruit Trees can be planted in USDA zones 9-11 only.
Trees that are planted in the ground that experience freezing temperatures above zone 8 need protection in unusual inclement weather.
Planting in the wrong hardiness planting zone will void the warranty.
Planting zone: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Planting In The Ground
1. Do not plant a new Fruit tree in a space where an old tree has died, the soil may be contaminated and create problems for your new tree. Mature Fruit trees can grow to a height of 10-15 feet tall depending on variety.
2. The location should be chosen that is sunny, in a well-draining area. Fruit Trees will grow in loamy, sandy or clay soils.

3. Place the potted tree in a chosen location for 2 weeks and allow the tree to acclimate to the area before you plant in the ground.
4. Dig a hole double the width of the root ball or double the size of the pot and fill with water and wait 24 hours.
5. Fill the hole with water again. If water has drained from the hole within an hour this area has good drainage and the tree can be planted.
6. If the area has terrible drainage (still contains water) choose another area.
7. Add a mixture of compost and well-draining soil into the hole and remove the tree from the pot. Try to keep the root ball intact to minimize root disturbance.
8. Place tree in the hole. DO NOT allow the tree to drop down into the hole. The soil line of the tree should be above the existing soil grade approximate 1-2 inches above the existing grade.
9. Do not bury the root-crown with soil or mulch. A photo of the root crown can be found here:  https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease
10. Keep other plants away from the tree by creating a 5-foot circumference around the trunk of the tree. Weeds allowed to grow around the tree's base compete for water and nutrients, so pull them up as they appear.
11. Fruit trees can be trained as espaliers.

The Potted Fruit Tree
Fruit trees are best grown in a well-draining pot.
Do not allow the tree to sit in standing water. We recommend using a moisture meter to avoid overwatering.
Most Fruit trees are deciduous, meaning they experience leaf drop in the winter outdoors. In a pot indoors they can keep producing.
Do not place your indoor tree near a heat source or heat vents.
Do not re-pot until you have had the tree at least 2 weeks, the tree needs time to adjust
Never plant a tree in a container more substantial than a 10-gallon pot. Always water according to pot size, with a moisture meter. Drilling additional holes in the pot is an easy way to improve drainage.
When repotting DO NOT transplant using stones in the bottom of the pot or use stones on top as a decoration, this will cause a drainage issue and lock moisture into the pot which will cause root rot.
Select the right sized pot with adequate drainage holes. If the pot has no holes on the side or bottom, it is not the correct pot for planting.
Self-watering is incorrect watering, self-watering is not infrequent deep watering.

Fruit Trees have shallow, aggressively spreading root systems, so plant the trees away from sidewalks, driveways, and buildings (zones 9-11 only).

Deep Watering Method For Potted Trees
Trees will die if they don't have the necessary requirements, incorrect watering is the most common cause of issues and tree death.
1. Check the tree with a moisture meter before watering.

2. The prong should be deep into the pot.
3. Only water when the meter reads 4 (for a meter with a range from 1-10).
4. All trees require deep watering. Deep watering is drenching the soil until water pours from the holes at the bottom of the pot.
5. Watering with a few cups is not acceptable, this will cause deep roots to die. Never be stingy with the water when the tree needs to be watered.
6. Once the tree has been watered properly, check it with a moisture meter again to make certain the meter reads high (9 or 10), and then do not water again until the meter reads 4.
7. In the winter you will water far less, about twice a month (But always check the tree with a meter weekly because this can vary)
8. The meter should never be left in the pot when not in use.
9. Never water with cold water in the winter
10. Never water the tree with water from a water softener.
A space between the bottom of the pot and the tray that catches the water is required.

Pruning should be done ONLY when the tree is in its dormancy.
Fruit Trees can be ordinarily prone to sap-drip or bleeding so wait until late winter to prune.
Trim ONLY diseased, broken or dead branches.
If the tree is taken indoors,(zones below 9) and you need to prune, then store the tree in a cold garage and allow the tree to go into dormancy before pruning leaves and twigs.


Fruit trees benefit from spring fertilization with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. In early spring apply a granular, general-purpose 5-5-5 or 10-10-10 fertilizer.
DO NOT over fertilize the Fruit trees, too much nitrogen will inhibit fruiting.

Use mulch for ground planted trees only. Never use mulch for a potted tree, mulch can impede drying and cause root rot.
Maintain a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the Fruit tree to retain soil moisture and improve soil quality.
Apply the mulch in the spring and fall under the canopy of the tree.
Avoid piling mulch against the trunk of the tree.
The tree trunk needs air circulation, without circulation, the truck could rot away from the root ball so avoid piling soil and mulch close to the root crown and tree truck.


Please contact us at support@lemoncitrustree.com or call if you need assistance with your Fruit tree.