Jessica Damiano Jessica Damiano, Newsday columnist

Jessica Damiano is a master gardener and journalist with more than 25 years experience in radio, television, print

Planting: Plant bare-root trees in fall in a sunny, sheltered location. Plant on the north side of a structure to prolong dormancy and protect from early spring frosts.

pH range: 6.7-7.5

Years until fruit bearing: 4; thereafter, expect intermittent off years without fruit.

Pollination: self-pollinating, but early spring blossoms may require hand pollination.

Pruning: Annually remove shoots that are too crowded and shorten others to lateral shoots to encourage the production of fruiting spurs.

Fertilizing: Apply 5-10-5 or 10-10-10 in early spring.

Harvest period: July-August; ripeness is determined by fruit color. Netting can be used to protect ripening fruit from wildlife.

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Storage: Best to consume within a day or two of harvest if not canning, cooking or freezing. May store for a few day in a single layer in a cool cellar or refrigerator, away from apples and pears.

Recommended varieties: Alfred, Harcot, Harglow, Hargrand, Harlayne, Harogem, New York 544, Sundrop, Veecot