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  #1  
Old 04-22-2012, 03:40 PM
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Default Fruit trees?

Wanted to get some fruit trees into the yard.

Stopped at the nursery yesterday and picked up a couple apple trees. (Mac & Red Delicious). Almost had to take a seat when he told me the price of $87.50 a tree. Got them anyway. They're a good 7' tall with a 1.5-2" diameter trunk in a 7-gallon root ball.

Took a backhoe and dug a hole about 24" deep and 48" diameter. Took out all the clay and crap and replaced with 5 year old compost (the nice black stuff).

Anyway, I'd like to get some more apple, a couple pear and maybe some plum. Too cold here for peach?

Where do you get your fruit trees? How big are they? How long before they're fruit bearing?
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Sure not too cold for peaches. they grow a lot of them in Canada. Watch having too much compost as it wont anchor the roots to well. I mix sand and manure in the bottom of the hole and some sand with the soil around the tree. You should get fruit in about 2-3 years. Get self pollinating or at least 2 of each variety. Mine that I planted are about 6-7 ft. tall and came from NY and Tenn. I paid $30 a tree for cherry and $20 for cortland apple and pear and peach.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

I was going to manure over the top, knowing some settling will occur.

I was told these trees would bear fruit this year (and the 2 types cross pollinate nicely).

Can you tell me here (or in PM or e-mail) where you get your trees?
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

I've got peach trees (USDA Climate Zone 5) and get peaches every year. This is my 3rd attempt at a mini-orchard ~ the deer have eaten the last 2 orchards. I moved it next to the workshop/guest apartment and the deer seem to be leaving it alone. Too exposed to people, I presume.

Asian Pears seem to be the most reliable, easiest to grow. Followed by some traditional style Pears.

With this mini-orchard (about 8 trees) I simply picked them up at the local big box stores. In prior years I fed the deer with expensive nursery stock.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Bob - How's the quality of the trees at the box stores?

I intentionally planted mine in the "dog's zone". The dog doesn't let any animal in her area and goes nuts just seeing the deer, turkey... moving along 100 yards outside of the yard
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

I've purchased fruit trees both ways, big box, mail order, and nursery. The ones purchased at big boxes just don't seem to thrive as well for me at least. My very best peach tree came from a local nursery. But overall it seems the mail order ones from Stark Bro's have done the best. If you're wanting to make up some of the best applesauce you've ever ate get a Wolf River or maybe two the apples are huge and though not exactly pretty they just can't be beat IMHO.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Thanks Bamby.

I'll give the Stark Bro's products a try.

I just ordered:
3 plum trees (2 varieties)
3 apple trees (3 varieties)
5 pear trees (3 varieties)

I better go dig more holes after the snow passes.

Another question
I was going to put the apples in one area, pears in another and the plums in yet a different area. Is that best or just mix 'em up?
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

I plant mine in pairs and run them diagonally so the one row does not shade the other. That worked good 30 years ago when I planted them at the old farm.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Personally I'd sort of group them for better pollination. And you may want to consider laying out some sort of management planting format in your yard. What I'm getting at is if you lay out your planting right you'll only be annoyed on a few passes when mowing your yard. If you just place them haphazardly throughout the yard it can get to the point where all a person gets done when mowing is working themselves around a tree on every pass around, been there and done it and it's a big pain in the butt. Mine are now replanted in long rows about 25' apart so that I only haft to deal with them on a few passes and then get serious with mowing the rest of the yard.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Stark shows the Pink Lady available for my area in the cart section, however I am zone 4 and on the Stark page of the apple it says recommended zone 5 to 8. Would I chance it?
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Yea, but you have "wide open spaces". I live deep in a valley with woods to my East and West so I automatically lose 4 hours of sunlight. I'm "shooting" for locations that will get 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.

If this works, I snapped a topo map of my location.

Location is in the middle of the map (but not marked as this map appears old), just to the left of the creek. I have over 240' of elevation to my East and West within 1000' of the yard.

The trees will be planted in the relatively flat area between the words "Strip Mines" and "Run". Not ideal, but that's what I have to deal with.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

My initial plan for location was to put most of them in the area covered by this picture. I may put the plum trees in a more open area on the far side of the house.

Basically, in a row or 2 that more or less stays along the line of the creek and woods. (There's a creek that separates the lawn area from the woods).

I would come in about 30' from the creek line so the creek lining maples don't shade them after late morning and plant them every 15-20' starting from that lone pine closest to the building and down/right to about 50' beyond the right side of the picture.

I don't want to put things in the middle of the yard as it messes up the kids playing ball games or riding their quads. The left side of the picture is the sand mound so although the location is ideal, I can't plant there.

Mowing isn't an issue really as I use the ZTR.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Stark Bros are about the best there is for Bare root and mail order. tghey are about 60 miles from my house and i use themoften for stock.

Intgeresting note about apple and other fruit trees. The area where they grow determines the root stock,not the variety.

So it is possible to have apple, pear and peach, cherry varities that would not otherwise do well in your area as ungrafted or even improperly grafted varieties.

Therefore, do not by apple trees in Georgia to plant in Vermont.

Stark Bros will ship fruit trees properly root grafted for your area. Hence you will do better in the long run with such properly root grafted trees.

I have seen 1 1/2 " adult trees from say Lowes, bear fruit the first year. I have also seen bare root saplings out perfom them three years later.

Either is an acceptable choice. It just depends how impatient you are to have adult trees.

BTW Mule is correct in his planting scheme. Fruit trees hate wet or compacted root systems. Sharps sand and evensome stones in the bottom of the hole help. Especialy in clay soils.

Over lay manure every year and keep the grass cut short or ommited with heavy mulch 13" radius out for every inch of trunk. A two inch apple tree trunk should have at least a 26" diameter free zone of mulch.Also, on pome trees, some folks put a 16"X 3" diameter perforated pipe in the hole verticaly. It helps with hydration yet allows more oxygen to the roots. Fill it with compost tea once a month during growing season.

Last edited by FrancSevin; 04-22-2012 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
BTW Mule is correct in his planting scheme. Fruit trees hate wet or compacted root systems. Sharps sand and evensome stones in the bottom of the hole help. Especialy in clay soils.

Over lay manure every year and keep the grass cut short or ommited with heavy mulch 13" radius out for every inch of trunk. A two inch apple tree trunk should have at least a 24" diameter free zone of mulch.Also, on pome trees, some folks put a 16"X 3" diameter perforated pipe in the hole verticaly. It helps with hydration yet allows more oxygen to the roots. Fill it with compost tea once a month during growing season.
I'll do sand and stone in this batch of purchased trees. I'll also throw 50-100# of sand and the same in manure on top of the compost of the 2 trees planted.

I do have quite a bit of clay under my topsoil so as already noted, I'm taking the backhoe and digging a big hole for the trees and bringing in more nutrient rich materials.

Glad to get a 2nd vote for Starks.

What's a good fertilizing technique? I have plenty of urea, triple-19, lime as well as your garden variety MiracleGro type fertilizers already in hand but don't want to apply anything without guidance.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
I'll do sand and stone in this batch of purchased trees. I'll also throw 50-100# of sand and the same in manure on top of the compost of the 2 trees planted.

I do have quite a bit of clay under my topsoil so as already noted, I'm taking the backhoe and digging a big hole for the trees and bringing in more nutrient rich materials.

Glad to get a 2nd vote for Starks.

What's a good fertilizing technique? I have plenty of urea, triple-19, lime as well as your garden variety MiracleGro type fertilizers already in hand but don't want to apply anything without guidance.
Go easy on the lime as Apple trees like a slightly acid soil. A little Organic sulfur and Potasium (Potash) and phosphate. There will be plenty of nitrogen in the manure so go lightly there. Potash gives you more blooms and fruit. Phosphate gives you strong roots. Nitrogen gives you green growth, leaves and stems. Great for grass and lettuce, not so much for fruits.

Three symbols on fertilizer NPP. Lawn fertilizers say 30-10-10. Not good for fruit trees. Use a 10-10-10 or individual amendments. mix in the backfill soil. Again, get your PH slightly negative. 6.6-6.7 is ideal.

Last edited by FrancSevin; 04-22-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Sounds like MiracleGro???
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
Sounds like MiracleGro???
Miracle grow will be fine. It is well balanced. There is a Miracle grow for acid plants you mix with water. You can use it to adjust PH levels rather quickly. I prefer Organic sulfur as it acts slowly and is a more permanent adjustment.

A PH kit costs about $12 bucks. Keep in mind it is like adjusting your swimming pool balance, go gently so as not to shock.

Takes a few days or a week to see the actual changes.
BTW, Be sure the stone you use is not limestone, if you can avoid it.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Yea, when I do use MiracleGro, it's the water mix. Haven't used it in a couple years but do recall seeing the word acid (maybe for roses or pines on the face of the box).

I have a PH kit. I think I'll hit the compost pile stand-alone then take some compost, manure, sand, limestone, Labatt's and Killian's... and mix it in the cauldron (as my brew for the incoming trees) and see what the PH is there.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bczoom View Post
Yea, when I do use MiracleGro, it's the water mix. Haven't used it in a couple years but do recall seeing the word acid (maybe for roses or pines on the face of the box).

I have a PH kit. I think I'll hit the compost pile stand-alone then take some compost, manure, sand, limestone, Labatt's and Killian's... and mix it in the cauldron (as my brew for the incoming trees) and see what the PH is there.
If it is pink, then you have the right stuff. It is for azealeas, Rhodedendrons, pines and other acid loving plants. If azealeas and Rhodes grow easily in your area, and I think they do in most of PA, then your PH islikely good for apples.

Keep in mind, Potash and Phosphate will bring strong trees and more fruit. The roots need air. That's it for apple trees.

BTW,if you do go peach, Always flood them once right after they set fruit. I have noidea why it works but it does. Especialy if you put compost down first or make a tea.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Fruit trees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancSevin View Post
If it is pink, then you have the right stuff. It is for azealeas, Rhodedendrons, pines and other acid loving plants. If azealeas and Rhodes grow easily in your area, and I think they do in most of PA, then your PH islikely good for apples.
Pink on the box I hope... The contents are a nice blue. I deal in primary colors but I believe aqua may be right.
Yep, those plants grow easy around here.
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