Fruit Tree Care

  1. Solutions for the Top 6 Diseases and Pests of Home Grown Citrus

    Helpful hints on Citrus diseases and pests from Nature Hills Nursery

    Growing Citrus trees at home is such a rewarding experience. Your family and friends will delight in the fragrance and taste of healthy, home grown fruit.

    However, to be successful requires that you monitor your plants for signs of pests or disease. The best time to deal with a problem is before it becomes a problem.

    There are a number of different pests and diseases that can affect Citrus in different areas. When not sure always check with your local Ag Extension Service.   

    With all product recommendations, follow label directions for dosage and application instructions for safest, most effective results.

    The Nature Hills Horticultural team recommends the following

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  2. Simple Tricks to Make Blueberries Easy to Grow

    Grow healthy blueberries at home

    We asked our Horticulture Team for their best Tips and Tricks for growing healthy, delicious, gorgeous Blueberries in a permaculture garden. People across the country can successfully grow these wonderful bushes. 

    There are 5 main growth habits of Blueberries, including: Northern Highbush, Southern Highbush, Lowbush, Hybrid Half-high and Rabbiteyes. These varieties range widely in chill hours, cold hardiness, different fruiting seasons, size, and flavors.

    Selecting the right variety is key to successfully growing blueberries. Nature Hills offers many varieties, and one will work best for your area.

    Zones 3 and 4 can grow Half-Highs, including Northblue, Northcountry and Polaris.

    Zones 5 and 6 can reliably grow Northern Highbush (Vaccinium

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  3. Yes, You Can Grow Fruit Trees in a Small Yard

    Grow Apples on an espalier trellis for easier harvest

    In today’s health conscious and Instagram-ready world, the desire to grow fresh fruit and vegetables has never been greater. We’ve seen the beautiful photos of the carefully grown crops after harvest, and we want that same benefit for ourselves, our families, friends and neighbors.

    Using Size Control For More Manageable Fruit Trees

    Even if you select semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties, you still need to understand that pruning is one the most important aspects of growing a fruit tree.

    Commercial growers use aggressive pruning techniques to control the size of a fruit tree, which results in more trees planted per acre (and a quicker return on their investment!) Keeping the trees at lower heights also makes it safer for workers and

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  4. Get More Fruit in Small Yards With High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, tells us about a tried and true technique that is perfect for the backyard gardener.

    Called "High Density Planting", or "Backyard Orchard Culture", watch as Ed explains the concept and the benefits of planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole. Benefits include easier cross-pollination and extending the season of ripe fruit.

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 1-888-864-7663

    Learn how to keep your High Density Plantings pruned for size control

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  5. Plum, One of The Easiest Fruit Trees to Grow in Your Backyard

    Delicious, Easy Care Plum Trees Are Easy for Beginning Gardeners

    People have loved Plums for a long time. Cultivated Plum tree varieties trace back to the beginning of human history, and Plum remains have been discovered in archeological sites back to the Stone Age.

    The two primary varieties of plums that are most common in our diet today, Prunus domestica (European Plums) and the Prunus salicina (Japanese Plums) are not found in nature at all, but rather are a human creation. These varieties are the results of selective hybridization over the course of centuries.

    Plum Trees are Great for Beginners

    Because there are so many varieties available across a diverse set of climates and zones, growing Plum Trees are the ideal fruit for the beginning home gardener. Plum varieties like the American hybrids, Burbank, Superior and Toka have adapted to the

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  6. Caring for Cara Cara Navel Oranges

    How to grow great tasting Cara Cara oranges

    Late November and early December is the peak time for one of the finest oranges available. The Cara Cara orange possesses the most unique flavor of any orange. Imagine cherry, berry and orange flavors, all in one incredibly convenient fruit. That’s the flavor of a Cara Cara orange.

    The Cara Cara orange is also a nutritional powerhouse, with plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, and lycopene. These antioxidants give your heart a boost, and protect your cells from free radicals.

    The Cara Cara is an easy tree to grow, so you can enjoy this healthy fruit from your own yard. Not only is it adapted to any landscape wherever citrus grows well, the Cara Cara can also grow up to 15 to 20 feet without pruning. For ideal picking and pest control, the Cara Cara Orange is best when kept pruned at 6 to 8 feet.

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  7. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  8. Summer Pruning Tips for 3 Fruit Trees Planted in 1 Hole, or High Density Planting

    Watch as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, checks the growth on his latest high density planting of Burgundy Plum, Santa Rosa Plum and Emerald Butte Plum. During this video, you'll learn how how he makes summer pruning decisions to keep his fruit trees around 6 feet tall.

    Growing 3 Trees in 1 Hole Delivers Great Fruit Set in a Small Space

    Successfully planting 3 partner fruit trees together in 1 hole has a lot of benefits for your backyard orchard, including cross-pollination and enjoying an extended season of fruit. Keeping your high density plantings at a small size makes for easy homegrown fruit picking.

    Summer is the best time to prune your high density planting. Ed says "The goal is to get good sunlight in the center of the three tree canopy. Pruning the aggressive spring flush of growth keeps your fruit trees to a manageable size."

    Call us to talk about which partner fruit trees are right for your garden: 888-864-7663

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  9. How to Thin Fruit - Video Tutorial

    Watch the video below to learn the art of fruit thinning by one of America's premier fruit experts, Ed Laivo.

    Benefits of Thinning Fruit

    • Avoid diseases by thinning
    • Increase fruit size
    • Improve color in your fruit
    • Increase sugar content in your fruit

    Here's what you'll learn:

    1. How to space the fruit on the limb
    2. How to properly pull immature fruit during thinning

    Thinning is an art form that helps your apple, peaches and nectarine crops. Homesteaders, urban agriculturalists, and homeowners - enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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  10. The Methley Plum, One of Nature's Best

    In the world of Plums, there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties worldwide that are available for the home gardener. All have their own distinct characteristics - but none so distinguished as the Methley Plum. This variety has it all; it is widely adapted throughout the U.S. from zone 4 to 9, offers heavy production on a naturally small tree with medium to large rich flavored red-fleshed fruit and is self-fruitful!

    The Methley plum actually has a very interesting history in that it is believed to be a Hybrid between an American Plum variety (Prunus cerasifera) and the Japanese Plum (Prunus salicina). This happened unintentionally as a select seedling in South Africa around the turn

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