Young fruit trees will likely not produce any harvest for a few years, and once they start, it can take another couple of years before you see a bountiful supply. The middle years of a fruit tree’s life are likely when you’ll see the best production and highest quality fruit from any fruit tree, including plants like lemon trees, key lime trees, satsumas, and more.
The truth is your fruit trees will not live forever. Although, of course, they will live for many years and bear fruit for most of those years but, as they age, the structure of the wood does as well.
Older wood requires more intensive care and maintenance than younger trees meaning it can become more expensive and time-consuming to keep up with the plant’s needs to produce lots of fruit still. Once they reach this stage of their life, the plant will also likely slow down or stop producing fruit altogether.
How long your fruit tree will thrive and continue producing fruit is hard to determine and depends on many factors. However, trees nearing 25 years of age are likely at the end of their fruit-bearing years. So if you still want to enjoy fresh fruit after that, you’ll likely need to consider replacing those elderly plants.
Replacing plants can be beneficial for more than just keeping up with production. Newer cultivars of your favorite varieties only continue to improve over time, meaning this round of fruit may be an even better product than what you were getting from that older tree.
You may even want to consider a dwarf size cultivar of your favorite grapefruit trees or a Meyer lemon tree which will take up even less room than the larger counterparts. These dwarf-sized fruit trees are also easier to trim, spray and harvest.
You could decide to buy a more mature fruit tree that’s already producing fruit or just a short time from producing fresh fruit. This will offer less waiting time before the first harvest and a larger plant in your yard.
There is a benefit to purchasing a younger less-mature fruit tree over an older tree. When you buy and plant a younger fruit tree, it will take longer before you can harvest any produce, maybe even a few years. However, it will acclimate better to your yard and, in turn, will be more resistant to pest and disease problems because of the long-exposure to the environment during its lifetime. In addition, a smaller fruit tree is more likely to thrive.
As you can probably already tell, there are some benefits to planting a younger fruit tree as compared to one already planted or a more mature plant. Here are some additional benefits of planting a younger tree you may not have considered.
Pruning fruit trees is an essential part of their growing process to help the branches become strong enough to bear the load of all the fruit they will grow. Branches also need as much access to sunlight as they can get to grow strong.
Snipping branches and pruning twigs can be much easier on a younger fruit tree because the branches are smaller and more pliable, making the time spent pruning a lot shorter than with a more mature tree. It’s also easier to keep the tree a more manageable size when you can start trimming back at a young age. So no monstrous trees that require ladders for harvesting.
As mentioned, newer cultivars are improved versions of the older fruit trees you may already have planted. This means choosing a new younger tree can result in an even better harvest of tastier fruit than the 10 or even 5-year-old tree of the same variety. Therefore, it will benefit you in the long run.
One more thing to consider when picking out a fruit tree for your yard doesn’t have to do with age but the type of cultivar the tree is.
Many fruit trees will grow upwards of 20 ft in height and with an impressive diameter too. However, this can make trimming, harvesting, and maintaining tree health even more difficult if you can’t easily reach branches. It’s also important to recognize that a tree that takes much longer to finish growing (aka a larger tree) will take much longer to yield a harvest too.
Modern cultivation and gardening have partially solved those problems with dwarf cultivars of your favorite fruit trees. Instead of a 25 ft tree, you’ll have an 8-10 ft tree. This is going to take less time to grow to maturity and, in turn, hopefully, produce a harvest faster. The smaller stature of the trees will also make maintenance and harvesting more manageable and safer than with a larger fruit tree, plus they’ll take up less space in general.
So now you know mature trees in their prime will produce the best harvest, whereas young trees will take time to grow fully, and older trees will start to decline in fruit production as they reach the end of their lives. You’ll need to consider what this means for the fruit trees you already own or those you’re looking to put in.
When you need to replace some older trees or are looking for a brand new cultivar, consider getting an avocado tree for sale along with all your other favorite fruit trees. You’ll find the perfect new addition to your backyard garden and a plant that will produce delicious fresh fruit for many years to come.