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It Takes Too Long

In speaking with non-gardeners, I would say this is the most common deterrent. People don't want to be bothered with something that will take years and years before they ever see their first harvest.

Naturally, we want to enjoy a rich bounty as soon as possible. But our modern society fuels our impatient tendencies. We live in an age of instant gratification. Learning the art of patience is a vital skill that can benefit us in all aspects of our lives. Even still, I can assure you, a harvest is nearer than you may think!

How Long Until I Get Fruit?

FRUIT TREES VS NUT TREES: In my 1st year of home-ownership, I planted a peach tree. One year later I already harvested my very 1st peach! Several factors come into play. For example, nut trees often require more years of waiting than fruit trees. Among fruiting trees there is a range of time until maturity. Picking the right varieties can bring results sooner.

LIMITATIONS OF SEEDLINGS: When it comes to maturation time, there is a major difference between nursery stock and seedlings. Let's say you want to grow an apple. You could take a seed from a tasty apple and plant it in the Fall. In the Spring it germinates and commences growth. From that point, you have to wait for several years before the apple reaches fruit bearing age. In the meantime, you might find that the genetics of that variety are not well suited to your site. Or perhaps the fruit itself is not as delicious as you'd hoped, due to genetic variation.

The Advantages of Nursery Plants

Of course, there are some good reasons to grow fruit trees from seed. But if time is a big factor, consider the advantages of buying nursery stock. Many professionally grown trees are grafted onto a specialized root stock. Each rootstock option offers unique strengths. This can be matched up with your growing site.

Fruit & Nut Tree Maturity Time Until Fruiting Production Chart
Most nut trees take longer to produce than fruit trees. Grafted nursery stock can produce fruit several years sooner than direct sown seeds. And the resulting fruit is much more predictable.
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This chart estimates some fruit & nut tree maturity times. (click to enlarge) pin it

Rootstocks can be selected to induce early fruiting in younger trees. The upper scion limbs (where your fruiting occurs) can be selected for taste. This ensures that the wait will be worth it! Often, these trees are a year or two old when they arrive at your door.

What that translates into is a huge savings in time. You could stand to save several YEARS of waiting. Suddenly, the entire process seems much more realistic!


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