Bare Root Fruit Trees with Mike Darcy

January 30, 2018

If you have ever thought of planting a fruit tree, you will probably not find a better time than now. The new shipment of bare root fruit trees has arrived at Wilco and this is the time when selection is the best. Plus this is a perfect time to plant, as the ground is damp and the temperatures are cool in the Willamette Valley.

A fruit tree will become a permanent fixture in your garden and it needs to have a location where it can grow and thrive. Full-sun is crucial, fruit trees are not shade loving plants. Selecting a full-sun location with good air circulation should be a top priority. Consider your fruit tree as a lifetime investment and give it the proper home that it deserves.

Wilco has an impressive listing of bare root fruit trees and while the varieties that each store carries will vary somewhat, for example, a store in Central Oregon might have different varieties than a store in the Willamette Valley, the assortment at each store is excellent.

Bare root fruit trees now available include apple, pear, Asian pear, apricot, peach, plum, nectarine, and cherry. Within each of these groups, there will be an assortment of varieties with some stores having up to a dozen different varieties of apples.

With many people now living in the suburbs on smaller lots, growing a standard fruit tree can be challenging. To accommodate these conditions, Wilco offers many varieties that are semi-dwarf. Whereas a standard fruit tree may reach 30 feet, semi-dwarf trees will usually reach about half that height. Many semi-dwarf trees can also be easily grown in a container, a half whiskey barrel works well. Check the plant tag as to whether the tree needs another variety for pollination and if you are uncertain, ask with a Wilco Lawn & Garden Specialist.


For a novice gardener, there are some fruit trees that are easier to grow than others and probably the easiest to grow is the apple. They tend to be forgiving, need just a little care and will reward you with a delicious bounty. Wilco carries popular grocery store names like Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Honey Crisp, Jonagold, Red Delicious, and Spartan.

I noticed that they also carry Melrose, which is not always readily available. This is not a grocery store type because the fruit is not ‘perfect’ and since the shape can vary, it is not easy to ship. However, this has always been one of my favorites because it is not only delicious to eat fresh but it is also a good keeper and under cool garage conditions, it can last several months.

Fruit trees can provide children with a wonderful learning experience as to where fruit comes from. With so many children living in a city or suburb, often they have had no experience with actually seeing fruit on a tree. Fruit trees also provide some beautiful spring color and when trees are blooming, this provides another learning experience for children. Let them see the flowers and the bees and explain the importance of both.

If a fruit tree is on your garden list, now is the time to act. The best selection is now and the planting time now is ideal.

Take advantage of the fact that we live in an area where many fruit trees perform well and can be easily adapted to the home garden.