What did you do in your orchard today?

CrealCritter

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My experience has been entirely different. My parents grew most of our trees from seed. They gave away cherry, plum and peach seedlings, and many of those trees are still producing, or their descendants are.

My neighbor in my old area had a seed-grown apple that didn't brown. We had an InterlakenxConcord that had the growth habit of the Interlaken, the taste of the Concord, and ripened early in the season. I have seeds for that one. Seedling almonds, seedling apricots. I have no experience with seedling pears, so I'll let them grow and find out.

At the very worst, in a few years I'll have smoker wood.

In the meantime, I am developing varieties that can tolerate our water, heat, cold, wind and drought. Win-win.
Yep stone fruits (peach, cherry, plum, apricot, nectarines, almonds, etc...) grow close to true to seed and often with desirable traits.

New wild grown seedling apple varieties are still being discovered, some are even marketed. Many of the herloom varieties from the 1700 and 1800 were chance seedlings. It's interesting to read up on heirloom apples. Fedco has some interesting historical background on a lot of their apples.

I have 3 wild apple trees, I've discovered here. I havnt seen any apples on them yet, but they put on a good flower show. It's most likely due to lack of a pollinator partner close by, the reason they dont set apples or they could just be sterile. Not knowing the apple variety theu are makes it difficult for me to know what pollinating partner they would need. I am however curious what they might produce, so I leave them alone with hopes that one day I'll see apples on them.

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CrealCritter

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FYI... Starkbros is having their $18.16 sale and free shipping on orders $99+

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I have 3 wild apple trees, I've discovered here. I havnt seen any apples on them yet, but they put on a good flower show. It's most likely due to lack of a pollinator partner close by, the reason they dont set apples or they could just be sterile. Not knowing the apple variety theu are makes it difficult for me to know what pollinating partner they would need. I am however curious what they might produce, so I leave them alone with hopes that one day I'll see apples on them.

most likely they will be rather sour apples, but that is why they were originally brought to the states to make hard cider. it is very rare (i've seen the odds quoted as about 1 in 20,000) to get a random wild apple to be an out of hand eating apple. i used to go around with a friend to harvest wild apples and he kept track of those wild apple trees that he would find for that purpose. most of them were very mildly sweet and he would take them and dry them which made them even sweeter. of course he did not go back to the many many wild trees that were too sour as he didn't make hard cider.

with apple genetics being so diverse you can probably take the seeds from any store bought apples and it would be unlikely that any two varieties from the store would be a very close match. if you bought a selection of apples from the various bins at the store and took those seeds and planted them in the fall you'd find them growing the next spring once the weather gets warm enough. my own experience doing this i had a row of about 60 different apple saplings and there were a lot of differences in that row. within two to three years i had some that were 6ft or more and a few that didn't get above a few feet. being planted very closely together i didn't give them all enough space, but the intent was to take them back beyond the large drainage ditch to get a cider apple orchard growing back there, but that never got done and i eventually had to remove the saplings. protecting them from deer out there would have needed fencing for each tree. wasn't a way i could do that so i abandoned that idea. the longer term plan beyond the cider apples was to include some out of hand eating apples or baking apples once the cider apple trees were established as then there would the bug/predator cycles already established, but that didn't get very far...
 

CrealCritter

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most likely they will be rather sour apples, but that is why they were originally brought to the states to make hard cider. it is very rare (i've seen the odds quoted as about 1 in 20,000) to get a random wild apple to be an out of hand eating apple. i used to go around with a friend to harvest wild apples and he kept track of those wild apple trees that he would find for that purpose. most of them were very mildly sweet and he would take them and dry them which made them even sweeter. of course he did not go back to the many many wild trees that were too sour as he didn't make hard cider.

with apple genetics being so diverse you can probably take the seeds from any store bought apples and it would be unlikely that any two varieties from the store would be a very close match. if you bought a selection of apples from the various bins at the store and took those seeds and planted them in the fall you'd find them growing the next spring once the weather gets warm enough. my own experience doing this i had a row of about 60 different apple saplings and there were a lot of differences in that row. within two to three years i had some that were 6ft or more and a few that didn't get above a few feet. being planted very closely together i didn't give them all enough space, but the intent was to take them back beyond the large drainage ditch to get a cider apple orchard growing back there, but that never got done and i eventually had to remove the saplings. protecting them from deer out there would have needed fencing for each tree. wasn't a way i could do that so i abandoned that idea. the longer term plan beyond the cider apples was to include some out of hand eating apples or baking apples once the cider apple trees were established as then there would the bug/predator cycles already established, but that didn't get very far...

Maybe a just a couple granny smith, a couple golden delicious and a couple nice crab apples for jams?

Your right though... they need a cage and trunk guard. I started out making mistakes and settled on a 4 foot diameter cage made from field fence and hardware cloth for trunk guards. Seems to work well for our deer and rabbits.

I lust cut the field fence horizontal wires up against the vertical stays and the other end to have long horizontal wires. I bend the horizontal wires to close the cage and unbend them to open the cage. Pretty simple and easy, I can get in the cage easily and securely close it just as easy. Lesson learned was to make sure I made the trunk guard diameter large enough to stick my hand down inside from the top to remove any rootstock suckers growing below the graft.

Fruit trees are a magnet for fungus and pests, but both are easily controled. You'll need a spray schedule. Your state university probably has one for back yard orchards. Most U's have a synthetic and organic spray schedule for zones within their state, its a good place to start. Most, not all apples are relatively easy to care for and most not all, grow quickly with minimal pruning and spraying. Select easy to grow varieties, unless you want a challenge.

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Fruit trees are a magnet for fungus and pests, but both are easily controled. You'll need a spray schedule. Your state university probably has one for back yard orchards. Most U's have a synthetic and organic spray schedule for zones within their state, its a good place to start. Most, not all apples are relatively easy to care for and most not all, grow quickly with minimal pruning and spraying. Select easy to grow varieties, unless you want a challenge.

i became convinced after my growing of the grape vine (that i eventually removed) that i wasn't going to have enough time, space or inclination here to do that. just the wrong micro-climate and soil and lack of space. i don't have easy access to the back part of the property and have way too many other things going on to be able to keep after yet more projects. if i end up moving or something changes i can always change my mind, but for now frut trees are not on my list of things to plant.
 

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Starkbros $18.16 sale trees. 2x Santa Rosa Plum and 1x Montmorency Pie Cherry. They appear to be fresh out of the cooler and just breaking bud. Hard to beat their sale price. I'll plant them later.
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Bud or sometimes called chip grafted
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CrealCritter

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Started 10 MM111 air layers semi dwarf apple rootstocks for next spring grafting. I would have done more but 10 rooting balls is all I have of this size.

I've been meaning to stool/mound this mess but FB likes the little green crab apples it produces. Plus it air layers (clones) and grafts pretty easily. So I reckon my mind is made up.

I''ll cut them loose once this fall and pot up the takers.
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CrealCritter

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Grafted cherries, pears and peaches growing out nicely. All of my cherry and pear and relience peach grafts took, but only one redhaven peach took. Red Haven is proving difficult for me. There's always next year to try again, but the failures will give me something to study over winter.

The best part of waking up :gig
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These two brandywine crabs apples are for FB. She likes the pink double blooms that look like roses and shes is hoping to try and make her own pectin from the apples. It'll be several seasons for that though.
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