Why You Should Plant a Nectarine Tree Today
The Trillion-Tree Study
A recent study calculated that climate change can be slowed down significantly—maybe even stopped—if people make the effort to plant a trillion trees. Not just over the next decade, but as soon as possible. However, it's not as easy as sticking a seed, cutting or any old nursery-bought tree into the ground.
Trees need to stick around to absorb carbon dioxide for as long as possible. One person might plant a tree, but another (say, a new homeowner) might give it the ax. Certain qualities protect a tree from this fate. The nectarine tree has them all.
1. It's Useful
This is a sad fact, but many trees are felled from gardens because they are not useful or beautiful enough. People are far less likely to remove fruit trees than any other. Gardens more commonly hold lemon trees, but this works in a nectarine's favor. Not only is it useful—giving a crop of delicious fruit—but it's also novel to have one in the garden. Even better, a small orchard.
2. It Fruits Quickly
Industrious souls might want to grow their own nectarines from seed. This is a fun project for anyone who enjoys watching seeds sprout and grow into tiny green wonders. Luckily, there's no reason to despair should you want to grow a nectarine from seed but also want fruit without waiting for a million decades. The good news is that nectarines are among the fastest fruiting trees.
If all goes well, your tree will bear nectarines within three to four years. That's fast if you consider the fact that lemons take up to 10 years to drop their first fruit. Of course, you can speed the process up a little by growing a tree from a cutting or purchasing a three-year-old tree from a nursery. The latter might come with a hefty price, so be prepared for that.
3. Beautiful Blossoms
Another reason people keep nectarine trees around is because of their flowers. During spring, the branches explode with exotic rows of blooms ranging in color from purple to pink.
This classy touch to a garden boosts a tree's chances of being kept and cared for. Trees that cause a mess, attract too many birds or have no visual appeal are the ones that are most often chopped down.
4. They Can Be Potted
Live in an apartment on the fourth floor with just a small patio? No problem. A nectarine tree can thrive in a pot. Virtually any fruit tree can. But back to your lovely potted nectarine. Naturally, it would require more care and nutrition than one planted directly into the earth.
The soil must be the best quality and fertilizing is a must. Since these trees can be gross feeders, you're looking to purchase a fertilizer that is non-toxic, highly "nutritious" and can be used as often as needed without burning the plant. Fish emulsion packaged as plant fertilizer serves this purpose perfectly.
5. Environmentally Friendly
Nectarines originate in China. Outside of China's borders, the nectarine is technically classified as a non-native species. Most people are aware of the destruction that foreign animal, fish and plant species can wreak in an ecosystem. The nectarine doesn't have that aggression to go from a non-native to an invasive species.
There will be no zombie nectarine takeover within months after you plant it in the garden. Although, that would make a cool movie. At the end of the day, this tree doesn't damage the environment. It grows and minds its own business while letting native plant species have their patch, and native birds can even roost between the branches.
Did You Know?
- The peach and nectarine are almost genetically identical (a nectarine is basically a smooth peach).
- There's a fallacy that the nectarine is a hybrid between a peach and a plum.
- Nectarines continue to ripen on the shelf after they've been picked.
- The Romans called it the "Persian apple."
© 2019 Jana Louise Smit