· Brooks Wilson's Answer
· Hi Joy,
Fruit Trees that are partially self fertile will be more productive if they are planted with a Pear tree that is a good pollinator. If you live in USDA Zone 8a and can find a Kieffer Pear, or another pollinator to plant, this would be advisable.
Fruit trees are grown from whips or liners. The hybrid Fruit trees are grafted, meaning that the hybrid is grafted to the root stock of another type of tree. Grafting is kind of like splicing or gluing. Either way, the newly planted tree is usually a single trunk whip with no other branching. The whips are usually 3-6 feet tall. The whip is usually pruned nearer to the top. This forces new branching below the pruning. If your tree has branching coming out from the trunk the tree is at least over a year old. One year for the liner, and another year or partial year for the new branching. If it is noticeable that the new growth has been pruned, the fruit tree may be as much as three years old. Most trees sold bare root, machine balled in a plastic liner, or in a 3 to 5 gallon container are between a year and three years old. In larger containers such as 7 gallon, 10 gallon, or 15 gallon, the tree may be 3-5 years old. Also the age of a tree can be determined by measuring the caliper. The caliper is the diameter of the trunk about 4 inches up from the base. If the caliper is 1/4 to 1/2 inch the tree is probably a year old or younger. At 1/2 to 3/4 inch it may be nearing or at least 2-21/2 years old. As the caliper gets larger, the tree is getting older. At 1 to 2 inches the tree is probably nearing 3 years old or older.
I own a nursery business and we frequently see fruit on our fruit trees. Our trees are mature 5 gallon size. Most of them are in their 3rd year and at least an inch or more in caliper.
Hope this helps you.