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9 Tips for Establishing Productive Fruit Tree Nursery

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A fruit tree nursery is the only sure way to produce a supply of healthy fruit planting material. Here are the 9 tips on how you can go about establishing a tree nursery.
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The fruit tree nursery is a kind of maternity.

From my 12+ years of running a tree nursery, I can tell you there will be moments when you’re happy. When you look at young fruit seedlings, you get inspired by the thought of creating orchards that will drive the fruit industry.

And do you know what?
A fruit tree nursery is the only sure way to produce a supply of healthy fruit planting material.
Here are the 9 tips on how you can go about establishing a tree nursery.

Let’s get to it.

Why is Nursery Important?

If you have a fruit tree nursery, you will get the following benefits:
1. Seedlings get  attention and grow with better care
2. Suitable environments for the germination of seeds
3. Fruit trees whenever you need
4. Growing fruits suitable for your local climate and soil
5. Generate income from local resources 
6. Transplanted seedlings will be healthy and stronger

Be Careful When Doing Seed Extraction

Most fruit species are propagated through vegetative methods or by seeds. If you want to raise rootstock, the seed is the main source of bud or graft stocks.

The rootstock affects your scion’s vigor, fruit yield, quality, and longevity.  So take care when selecting your seed source. Just ensure your rootstock:

  1. Is easy to propagate from your cuttings or seeds.
  2. Is compatible with your scion cultivar.
  3. Has a high-yielding impact on the scion.
  4. Has vigorous and well-anchored roots
  5. Is adaptable to soils and weather conditions
  6. Resistant to diseases and pests 

Your seed should be extracted from ripened fruits from healthy, vigorous, and yielding trees.

Handling of Your Seeds After Pretreatment

After you extract your seeds, wash them with water and dry them in a fruit collection net.

You can also store the seeds in cool and dry places in air-tight containers for the duration shown below.

FruitDuration in Years

Treat Your Seeds Before Sowing (Pre-Sowing Treatment)

If your seeds have a potent seed coat, you require scarifying before you sow them. You can scarify by scratching, breaking, altering, or softening the seed coverings.

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You can scarify your seeds by:

  • Cracking of seeds with a hammer 
  • Giving hot water treatment 
  • Using concentrated hydrosulfate acid for 5-10 minutes 

Remember that before you sow seeds of temperate fruits, they need rest. The rest is necessary under chilling conditions for germination. The duration of seed scarification (at 1-5°C)in a moist sand medium varies among fruits. 

For instance,
the number of scarification days for apples is 50 -70, pears 40-50, peaches 60-70, and plums 60-70. Others such as apricot and persimmon require 50-60 and 90-100 days respectively.

You can further  improve your  seed germination by treating them in the following way:

  • Grapes and peaches – 5000 ppm thiourea for 15-20 hrs  
  • Apple,  peach, and cherry -100 to 500 ppm GA3 for 12 hrs 
  • Guava – 5000 ppm ethyl
  • Apple – 10-20 ppm benzyl adenine 

Prepare Your Seedbed & Container

After treatment, the next step is preparing your growing media. Your growing media must:

  • Be firm to provide anchorage to seeds or cuttings 
  • Well decomposed 
  • Free from weeds  and harmful diseases
  • Cheap and available 
  • Have slightly acidic pH and
  • Have a good water holding capacity to drain excess water.

You should prepare a bed of 2-3 m (L)  x 60-100 cm (W) x 15-20 cm (H).

Ensure you sterilize your soil media.
Your media should be mixed with 2.5 kg of base fertilizer mixture of (1.8 kg CAN or Ammonium sulfate + 2.5 kg Super phosphate + 1.0 kg Muriate of potash) per cubic meter of root media.
The media with the base fertilizer can also be filled in containers, earthen pots, polyethylene bags, etc., to raise seedlings. 

You can sow the seeds of deep-rooted fruits directly in the pit.

Sowing Your Seeds

You should sow your seeds as follows:

  • Sub-tropical fruits –  immediately after you  extract them from the fruit 
  • Temperate fruits – after you scarify

The seeds should be sown at the proper distance, and the depth of the seeding should be three times the thickness of the seed. For instance, sow apples, pears, peaches, and plums at a distance of 30 by 10 -15cm, and Citrus and guava at 10 by 2.

After sowing your seeds, be aware that the seeds  take a period to germinate determined by fruit type as follows:

FruitGermination period in days

Tools and Materials

To establish your fruit nursery, you require various tools and materials. The material and tools include:

  • Seeds – collect or source viable seeds of fruit trees, such as peach, plum, apricot, cherry, walnut, pear, etc. 
  • Digging tools – acquire rakes, hoes, or tractor
  • Biomass: soil sand and compost
  • Netting – Get yourself netting for   regulating weeds eg weed mat ground cover and shade protection, such as greenhouse shade cloth 
  • Fencing and construction materials
  • Potting bags
  • Tools – such as shovels, budding knives, and pruning shears 

Taking Care of Your Fruit Seedlings

After sowing, you should cover the bed with:

  • A layer of pulverized soil 
  • Farmyard manure and  wood ash 

If you find there is a need to rinse your seedlings, 

  • Apply water with a small nozzle.
  • The frequency of irrigation depends on the weather and soil conditions.
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Ensure you protect your nursery bed from:

  • Summer heat – use by aluminate, shade cloth, etc, etc. link
  • Winter killings by, polyethylene tents, etc. links

Transplanting of Your Fruit Seedlings

After attaining the transplanting age, your seedlings should be transplanted in leveled, irrigated, and drained beds.

You should plant your seedlings in

  • 2 rows at 30 cm by 15 cm distance
  • The distance between twin rows should be kept at 50-60 cm. This is to allow you to perform other nursery operations with ease.

You should also take proper care such as watering, weeding, nutrition, and other protection measures. For example, you should ensure wind protection, shade protection, and pest control.

Make Use of Root Trainers

The budded or grafted plant should have a solid uncoiled tap root system with enough lateral roots. 

If your seedlings are in containers or undersized polybags and are kept for a longer time, the taproot is a coil. The plant shows poor performance after planting out. You should overcome these problems by using root trainers. The root trainers facilitate robust fibrous root systems in plants.


Successful fruit tree nursery establishment does not happen by chance. So get all the tips to enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

You are welcome to visit or contact us at and select the best ground cover fabric for your area. 

EyouAgro provides the best netting products for your nursery and fruit tree growing. Our products are easily affordable, and they come along with a warranty. We have different types of products as per your requirements. Our primary goal is to make life easy for orchard farmers and help them take good care of their fruits and other crops. Our services are simply the best, and you can’t afford to miss them. 

Kindly visit or contact us at

Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 26 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards , vineyards to protect their plants. The purpose of this article is to share with the knowledge related to agriculture growing protection for making the plant healthier and stronger.
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Kevin Lyu
Agrotextile Specialists

Hey, I’m the author of this post,
In the past 26 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards, and vineyards to protect their plants and crops. 
If you have any problems with it,
call us for a free, no-obligation quote
or discuss your solution.

We are at your disposal for any technical or commercial information


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