If you have FRUIT TREES, you HAVE to do this!

Are your fruit trees struggling? This is the way to get them to THRIVE! Growing fruit trees in the desert can be challenging, but we’ve got a method down.


  1. Two tips from an ISA Certified Arborist:
    While the mulch is the single best thing you can do for the trees, make sure that it is not against the trunk. I live in Nevada, and we are dry too, but I still see basal root setting in at the bottom to trees when the damp mulch is against the trunk. The best way to protect tender young bark from the scorching sun is to just use any leftover white latex house paint and paint the trunk.
    Also, always remove the nursery stake that is tied to the trunk. It will weaken the trunk and prohibit proper trunk development. Essentially, it's like keeping your leg in a cast too long… it atrophies. Also, it shades the trunk and the cells elongate from being shaded and it will cause the tree to topple over when the stake is removed, and if it doesn't topple, the long-shaded cells will sunburn easily. If the tree needs support at planting, just put one or two sturdy stakes outside the root zone and support it with tie material. There's lots of info on the web about proper tree staking. The stakes only need to stay on through one or two growing seasons when the root system is well established.
    Other than that, awesome job!

  2. proper pruning is vital too – for example some fruit trees like a peach tree needs a good amount of pruning, ab 1/3 off the crown can be pruned out, especially on the young tree

  3. I know this was posted a while ago but my mother in law just got a dwarf peach tree for Mother’s Day. I am from CT, could we use this method for peaches? We have never grown fruit trees before.

  4. The chickens may be doing you a favor. A tree's root flare needs to be exposed not covered. It'll bark-up with air and sunlight exposure. A tree that sticks out of the ground like a telephone pole with all its flare buried is more prone to problems as the trunk is in constant contact with soil and humidity.

  5. Everett, Washington is the opposite of a desert but wood chips and homegrown (chicken) compost is our point of "in common." The "trick" to getting fruit for us has been mason bees.
    Debs… dreaming of fresh picked apples!

  6. Comfrey and European night crawlers. Or maybe African night crawlers. From what I've read and heard. Moringa trees also for nutrients and canopy. I live in CG AZ. Like what you are doing, and at least you actually share your information. Thanks.

  7. I love that you use an organic source of nitrogen for your fruit trees however, as my soil science professor has told me years ago, "dirt" is the stuff you sweep out of your home and soil is what your fruit trees grow in. 🙂

  8. Keep the mulch off the bark. Better to expose than to cover bark. Bark is not for being covered with soil or mulch. It can weaken the bark and allow disease to find an entry point.

  9. Nice start on a very good topic.
    Might I add that ducks and geese in the orchard can add nitrogen to the soil, eat the grass, and beetles and sow bugs and won't scratch out mulch or damage the trunks and young trees.

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