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Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Make an appointment, before coming into the office.

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax
jo@listserv.ksu.edu

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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Fall tree fruit planting

Fall tree

 

collage of fruit and trees

Compared to other temperate fruit growing regions, especially those further north, the Kansas City region often experiences a mild fall while still providing the right amount of chilling hours over the winter—required by crops like apple, pear, peaches, cherry, berries, grapes and more.

This climate niche gives orchards and gardens in our area a huge opportunity for planting fruiting trees and shrubs in the fall—getting a head start on establishing new plantings while other garden tasks are starting to wind down.

The suitability of fall planting around the U.S. is usually dependent on the plant hardiness zone you fall under (see our previous article on this subject). But a good rule of thumb locally is that if your soil is warm enough to work you can usually plant temperate cold-hardy fruit through November, otherwise wait to plant until spring.

Fall is an ideal time to plant because heat/drought stress is less than spring, and woody plants are mostly dormant which further reduces the need for water during this time. Likewise, there can be less demand from other growing regions during the fall and access to planting stock from the nursery may be greater and/or discounted.

Here are a few examples of cold hardy fruit plantings that are suitable for fall planting. Remember to check our full list of recommend fruit varieties for Kansas. Ask for bare-root trees and shrubs (lower cost) or newly potted plants that are not rootbound.

  • Small fruits - Blackberry, Raspberry, Grape, Strawberry (best to establish early fall)
  • Pome fruit – Apple, Pear, Quince
  • Stone Fruits – Peach, Cherry, Plum
  • Native – Persimmon, Pawpaw, Serviceberry, Mulberry, Elderberry
  • Other – Jujube, Fig, Gooseberry, Currant

Be sure to follow our guide to general tree and shrub planting. Likewise, you should plan to provide winter protection to fall planted fruit, i.e. mulch base, plastic tree guards or reflective paint around the trunk. These trunk protectors are really important for young fruit trees to prevent cracking of the bark caused by shifting surface temperature during the winter. Guards will also help prevent any significant damage to trunk by animals.

So as temperatures drop over the next couple weeks and most of your landscape clean-up activities come to an end, consider getting a jump on 2022 with fall planted fruit.   

 

K-State Research and Extension Johnson County Master Gardener logo

Have questions? The Garden Hotline is staffed by trained EMG volunteers and Extension staff who will assist you with questions.

Phone: (913) 715-7050

Email: garden.help@jocogov.org