Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog

How to buy a Fruit Tree that will survive

A
re you tired of citrus season photos? Husband being from Illinois said that he always thought citrus was so exotic since it couldn’t be grown where he is – he often thinks California and Florida for citrus. For my friends not in Arizona, did you know citrus farms in Phoenix help the Arizona economy? Plenty of sunshine and good soil!

I’m sure most you know we live in a former citrus grove. Our two grapefruit trees have been removed because they died (not my fault I swear, they actually don’t live as long as non bearing fruit trees). I’m not sure why we replaced it with so much other citrus like lemon, lime, pink lemon and kumquat, but finally we added the mandarin orange and it’s something I can actually eat. There’s only so many lemons you can use or eat. And there’s only so much those tiny Mexican limes can do for you…Or maybe I just need to cook with citrus more. We keep the trees pretty contained and trimmed up we don’t want it to be HUGE like our grapefruit tree was – though it was beautiful. Trying to clear the tree when it’s 10 feet high isn’t fun.

But in other news, we added a peach tree! YAY! No photos because it looks like a stick in the mud. Literally, that’s what it is. And so I will just continue to show you photos of the citrus trees.

Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog

Since we have so many citrus trees I thought I’d share how to buy a fruit tree, or where to start. I’ve been asked by a few friends which made me realize I need to write a blog post about it. Given we’ve bought several trees, some fruit and some have died, my best advice with our experience is –

  1. Visit a nursery (not a store with a garden center) and buy the biggest fruit tree you can find. Most are about $150.
  2. Look at the structure of the tree, one stick in the middle with branches spread evenly on all sides is best.
  3. Pay for the nursery to deliver it and plant it because digging a large hole is consuming. When they plant it, it also typically comes with a warranty – double check.
  4. Know where to plant your tree – full sun? does it need shade?

Make sure you water the heck out of it until it’s established.

A note: Not all nurseries are created equal. Some hire teenagers to direct you to an area of what you’re looking for only to find that they actually don’t have it in like they said on the phone. That’s fine if you are independent in your gardening knowledge and just need to get in and out, but if you are looking for expert advice or help, please go to a smaller nursery with employees who are trained – ask friends.

In Arizona plants must go through quarantine. I assume most states are similar, especially California. So it doesn’t matter if you buy the tree or any plant for that matter from Walmart, Home Depot, or the nursery because there are a few spots that supply all of the plants to those places.

What you want to know is the warranty, if it dies, what will they do? And yes, sometimes we are our own fault for things dying. Trust me, for every living thing you see around here I’ve probably killed two in its place until I finally figure out what’s best. And other times, I didn’t realize it was an annual plant so I didn’t even kill it, it just ran its life course.

Then you start to fall in love with perennials…

Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog lemons in basket with orange hunter boots / Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog

You may have noticed I’ve been really sticking with home and garden a lot. I don’t think it’s on purpose as much as it’s just a natural part of my life at the moment. But you know I do love it and prefer to talk about home 24/7 if I could.

I am a homebody there’s no place I’d rather be but I do go out pretty often too – to meet friends because friendships and relationships make my heart beat! But to host people is so special and I just want everyone to feel like our house is their house, really! I have an announcement to make early March, but I can’t say yet. It’s pretty exciting for me, and you’ll be affected by it with good news and information, LOL.

I thank you for being here and supporting me, and still visiting this blog and reading my words. I know eyeballs are often skimming quickly on social media with a photo and a clever caption, but the writer in me just needs more space. I need space for words to tell you my thoughts, show you my projects and tell you how to do it. Photos can be inspirational to a certain degree, but words, my they can heal, uplift and encourage and we need them to storytell as well. So thanks for listening to me tell mine.

Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog Diana Elizabeth in yellow an white buffalo check top picking citrus in basket // phoenix lifestyle blogger garden arizona home blog

Photos by Heather Kinkel.


Diana Elizabeth just thought of something she could make with the citrus – sugar scrub?

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.

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