Fruit trees

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Dave

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We have a couple very old fruit trees in the yard. I bet these trees are over 100 years old. The irrigation rights here date back to 1873 so at some point those early settlers here planted these trees. This year once again I thought that the frost got the apricot tree. It was in full bloom and we had several heavy frosts in a row. Well the frost didn't get them all. We have more apricots coming than we can use. The apricots from this tree get huge. They are as big as peaches.
The two apple trees. One is loaded as usual. The other hardly had an blossoms. I don't know why that is. It is the second time this has happened. Oh well, we will have more than we can use from the one tree.
 

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I've been trying to grow a couple of nectarine trees here. They're 4 years old and growing ok but never produced anything.
 
Long term plans it's on the to do list... anybody have anything they like or recommend?
 
That's pretty cool! At my great uncle's farm we have a cherry tree, lead tree, and 4 new Apple trees. Dad found the 1939 farm census my great grandparents had a truck farm with a four acre orchard.
 
We have a few 80 yr old trees here, pear and apple. Apple trees can go into biannual bearing, the delicious varieties are really bad for it. Having grown up on an orchard i now have trees of all types to keep us well supplied. Fruit fly is our biggest challenge here.
 
Farmer Shell, I'm in your neighborhood, I think (Christian Co., KY)?
Fruit & nut trees have been my hobby/obsession for 25+ yrs. I've planted - and killed - a bunch of stuff over that quarter-century. Let me preface it by saying... I don't have, and never have had, time or inclination to spray anything... so, if it can't get by with a minimum of care, it ain't gonna make it here. YMMV, and willingness to do multiple insecticide/fungicide sprays will broaden your opportunities.
Here's a quick synopsis of my experiences...

Stonefruits have been mostly a bust here. Forget apricots... they'll break dormancy in Feb/March... no way they'll escape frosts; same for pluots. Peaches/nectarines... you might get a good crop two years out of five, but you gotta spray for plum curculio and brown rot... and thin the crop religiously & ruthlessly. Euro & Jap hybrid plums were a waste of space... only the native Chickasaw plums(and a few named selections of them, like Guthrie) have been worth the space.
Sour pie cherries, like Montmorency, will do well... sweet cherries, like Bing, etc., don't work here.

Apples... we went overboard early on... had 60+ varieties at one time... many unsuitable for this area, and without multiple sprays, most won't make an acceptable fruit, so I've removed or abandoned most of them.
MonArk has been a top performer... best early season apple I grow...ripe in early to mid July, firm crisp tart flesh, good for fresh eating, cooking, drying, will keep 6-8 wks under refrigeration without going mealy. Stayman Winesap is good, and even without sprays, fruits are OK, but you'll have to 'eat around' the occasional 'worm'. 'Lunchbox apples'/edible crabs, like Centennial, Kerr, Bastian Orange, and Almata do well here and are TASTY!!!
Any apple or pear ripening after about mid-Aug here will be consumed by deer, crows, European hornets long before they have a chance to ripen, so I've pretty much abandoned any late season/winter-keeper apple varieties.

Pears... low care/no spray, top performers in my orchard. Fireblight-resistant varieties are a must... Bartlett won't last long here... FB will eat its lunch. Most of the 'Southern' pear types, like Kieffer, Orient, Pineapple- and other 'sand pear hybrids' will do well, but European types, like Seckel, Warren, Ayers, Harrow Sweet are good. Love my Asian pears... Chojuro is tops, Ya Li is good, Shinko & Hosui have done well here; folks rave about Korean Giant... and I'm trying it again... just has not been good or sufficiently FB-resistant on the two previous grows.

Persimmons are no-spray, low care... Prok, Yates, Early Golden and the newer selections out of the Claypool & Lehman breeding programs are hard to beat. Some of the AsianXAmerican hybrids, like Rosseyanka, JT-02(Mikkusu), NB-21(Sestronka), Kasandra, etc. are making inroads.
Pure Asian persimmons(D.kaki) are chancy... I've had a number of them through the years, but all have frozen out now. Saijo and Great Wall were probably two of the most cold-hardy here, but even those eventually turned toes-up.

Mulberries! No-care fruit! Great to eat, and tremendous 'forage' for chickens/hogs. Illinois Everbearing and Silk Hope have great flavor, big berries, and bear for ~6wks, from early June to mid-July. Every critter loves a mulberry... especially me!
Serviceberries... short season, but they were really 'on' this year!
Blueberries... easy, low-care, no spray. For us, Rabbiteye types are the bomb! Not as picky about soil pH and will produce 10X the fruit of the Northern highbush types we originally planted here.

I'll leave off now, but if you wanna talk pecans/hickories/walnuts... I'm always ready to talk nuts & nut trees!
 
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I "thought" some apple trees would produce bi-annually - but wasn't sure.
We have lots of apple trees growing on the farm. Obviously, many, many years ago "Johnny Appleseed" was here - LOL Some are really good tasting. We don't "harvest - just pick and enjoy when ripe. Have had cows get drunk on ripened ones that fermented.
 
Farmer Shell, I'm in your neighborhood, I think (Christian Co., KY)?
Fruit & nut trees have been my hobby/obsession for 25+ yrs. I've planted - and killed - a bunch of stuff over that quarter-century. Let me preface it by saying... I don't have, and never have had, time or inclination to spray anything... so, if it can't get by with a minimum of care, it ain't gonna make it here. YMMV, and willingness to do multiple insecticide/fungicide sprays will broaden your opportunities.
Here's a quick synopsis of my experiences...
Love your post @Luck_P. Your methods are mine are rather similar. I have a small orchard (room for around 30 trees). I have no problems planting the trees, but multiple insecticide/fungicide and any other spraying is often something that gets forgotten. I will have to see if I can find the varieties you mentioned. I have a few openings:D Where do you order your trees from?
 
Farmer Shell, I'm in your neighborhood, I think (Christian Co., KY)?
Fruit & nut trees have been my hobby/obsession for 25+ yrs. I've planted - and killed - a bunch of stuff over that quarter-century. Let me preface it by saying... I don't have, and never have had, time or inclination to spray anything... so, if it can't get by with a minimum of care, it ain't gonna make it here. YMMV, and willingness to do multiple insecticide/fungicide sprays will broaden your opportunities.
Here's a quick synopsis of my experiences...

Stonefruits have been mostly a bust here. Forget apricots... they'll break dormancy in Feb/March... no way they'll escape frosts; same for pluots. Peaches/nectarines... you might get a good crop two years out of five, but you gotta spray for plum curculio and brown rot... and thin the crop religiously & ruthlessly. Euro & Jap hybrid plums were a waste of space... only the native Chickasaw plums(and a few named selections of them, like Guthrie) have been worth the space.
Sour pie cherries, like Montmorency, will do well... sweet cherries, like Bing, etc., don't work here.

Apples... we went overboard early on... had 60+ varieties at one time... many unsuitable for this area, and without multiple sprays, most won't make an acceptable fruit, so I've removed or abandoned most of them.
MonArk has been a top performer... best early season apple I grow...ripe in early to mid July, firm crisp tart flesh, good for fresh eating, cooking, drying, will keep 6-8 wks under refrigeration without going mealy. Stayman Winesap is good, and even without sprays, fruits are OK, but you'll have to 'eat around' the occasional 'worm'. 'Lunchbox apples'/edible crabs, like Centennial, Kerr, Bastian Orange, and Almata do well here and are TASTY!!!
Any apple or pear ripening after about mid-Aug here will be consumed by deer, crows, European hornets long before they have a chance to ripen, so I've pretty much abandoned any late season/winter-keeper apple varieties.

Pears... low care/no spray, top performers in my orchard. Fireblight-resistant varieties are a must... Bartlett won't last long here... FB will eat its lunch. Most of the 'Southern' pear types, like Kieffer, Orient, Pineapple- and other 'sand pear hybrids' will do well, but European types, like Seckel, Warren, Ayers, Harrow Sweet are good. Love my Asian pears... Chojuro is tops, Ya Li is good, Shinko & Hosui have done well here; folks rave about Korean Giant... and I'm trying it again... just has not been good or sufficiently FB-resistant on the two previous grows.

Persimmons are no-spray, low care... Prok, Yates, Early Golden and the newer selections out of the Claypool & Lehman breeding programs are hard to beat. Some of the AsianXAmerican hybrids, like Rosseyanka, JT-02(Mikkusu), NB-21(Sestronka), Kasandra, etc. are making inroads.
Pure Asian persimmons(D.kaki) are chancy... I've had a number of them through the years, but all have frozen out now. Saijo and Great Wall were probably two of the most cold-hardy here, but even those eventually turned toes-up.

Mulberries! No-care fruit! Great to eat, and tremendous 'forage' for chickens/hogs. Illinois Everbearing and Silk Hope have great flavor, big berries, and bear for ~6wks, from early June to mid-July. Every critter loves a mulberry... especially me!
Serviceberries... short season, but they were really 'on' this year!
Blueberries... easy, low-care, no spray. For us, Rabbiteye types are the bomb! Not as picky about soil pH and will produce 10X the fruit of the Northern highbush types we originally planted here.

I'll leave off now, but if you wanna talk pecans/hickories/walnuts... I'm always ready to talk nuts & nut trees!

Thank you for all the information much appreciated.
 
Don't know that I've bought a fruit tree in over 25 years... I graft my own, with scions I've been given or traded with other fruit growers. For most stuff - especially fruit trees, it's easy-peasy... just simple carpentry.
The grafted apple trees I bought when we first started out throw enough rootstock suckers that I can easily pull/dig enough to graft any apples/crabs I have any interest in growing.
There are bazillion 'volunteer' callery pear seedlings and more coming all the time, courtesy of the birds and the Bradford, Cleveland, Aristocrat, etc. pears planted in urban rural landscapes over the past 40 years... they work fine for virtually all fruiting pears.
Seedling mulberries pop up all over the place and can be grafted/budded to superior varieties... and some of the redXwhite mulberry hybrids root reasonably well, starting right about now(first of July)
Seedling American persimmons work just great for grafting improved persimmon varieties onto. Same for seedling pecans... they work just fine as understocks for improved pecan and most hickory selections.

Bigbluegrass, if you have question about a source for specific varieties, PM me... I may be able to direct you to the best place!
 
Don't know that I've bought a fruit tree in over 25 years... I graft my own, with scions I've been given or traded with other fruit growers. For most stuff - especially fruit trees, it's easy-peasy... just simple carpentry.
The grafted apple trees I bought when we first started out throw enough rootstock suckers that I can easily pull/dig enough to graft any apples/crabs I have any interest in growing.
There are bazillion 'volunteer' callery pear seedlings and more coming all the time, courtesy of the birds and the Bradford, Cleveland, Aristocrat, etc. pears planted in urban rural landscapes over the past 40 years... they work fine for virtually all fruiting pears.
Seedling mulberries pop up all over the place and can be grafted/budded to superior varieties... and some of the redXwhite mulberry hybrids root reasonably well, starting right about now(first of July)
Seedling American persimmons work just great for grafting improved persimmon varieties onto. Same for seedling pecans... they work just fine as understocks for improved pecan and most hickory selections.

Bigbluegrass, if you have question about a source for specific varieties, PM me... I may be able to direct you to the best place!
What's the expected success rate for grafting apple trees? I've got an old tree that's slowly dying and would love to be able to start over with a couple scions from it. I've got no idea what variety it is; and nobody alive can remember where it came from.
 
What's the expected success rate for grafting apple trees? I've got an old tree that's slowly dying and would love to be able to start over with a couple scions from it. I've got no idea what variety it is; and nobody alive can remember where it came from.
With a little experience up to 80 or 90% takes are average.
 
Yep. Even a novice should be able to get 75% or better with apples. Pears, even higher...you can almost throw pear scions at the rootstock and expect a 'take'.
Biggest problem is finding good vigorous budwood on a declining tree. Prune back hard this winter and fertilize to stimulate some vigorous watersprout type shoot growth, for best results.
I've grafted some weak, crappy stuff with varying degrees of success, but a nice pencil-diameter budstick with well developed buds holds a lot more promise
 
Yep. Even a novice should be able to get 75% or better with apples. Pears, even higher...you can almost throw pear scions at the rootstock and expect a 'take'.
Biggest problem is finding good vigorous budwood on a declining tree. Prune back hard this winter and fertilize to stimulate some vigorous watersprout type shoot growth, for best results.
I've grafted some weak, crappy stuff with varying degrees of success, but a nice pencil-diameter budstick with well developed buds holds a lot more promise
Have you tried to do any paw paw?
 
Yes. Pawpaws are about as easy to do as apples.
I've grafted... apples, pears, plums, peach, pawpaw, persimmon, quince, mulberry, mayhaws, oaks, pecan, hickories, walnuts, chestnuts; and a few ornamentals, like horsechestnut, redbud, etc.
Most all the 'fruit' trees are pretty easy to graft with good success rates... though a few have some peculiarities or special requirements.
Nut trees are the toughest thing for me... 25+ years out, I still look at a 50% success rate on pecans/hickories/walnuts as a smashing success, whereas anything less than 90% for pears/apples would seem like a dismal failure.
 

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