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Fruit Tree Advice

Post in 'The Green Room' started by timfromohio, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Deer are nothing more than long legged rats as far as I'm concerned. We have deer fencing now around about 75% of the property and have made peace with them.

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  2. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I long for fencing around my whole property!

    I've thought of some natural, hedgerow type stuff - maybe osage orange - something that would form an impenetrable barrier and look nice yet have huge thorns.
  3. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't go that route. Not only will it not keep them out, it will create a fantastic habitat for them to bed down. Deer seek out the nastiest, thickest brush they can find to spend their non-feeding hours. That would be like building a 5 star hotel right next to the all-you-can-eat buffet. A hedge row is far from impenetrable for even the most inept of deer.
  4. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    they do that sort of thing in England - I figured if it would keep sheep in, it would keep deer out (height adjusted accordingly!)
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have read about double hedging working to keep out deer. The thought is that they will not jump over something if they are worried about crashing into another obstacle. Folks that have done this say that the hedges don't need to be Olympic height to work.
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    A double fence will work. If you space 2 fences 4' high...about 3' apart, then they won't jump it because they can't clear them both and seem spooked about getting stuck in between.

    You would have to have a very thick, almost trunk-to-trunk, singe hedge to keep deer out. There's one place where I hunt that I cannot pass thru, short of crawling on my belly, but the deer don't seem to have much trouble running thru at full speed. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it several times.
  7. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I'm also going to be ordering a few semi-dwarf apple trees this spring. Can anyone comment on the disease resistance of some of the heirloom varieties available, such as Chenango Strawberry and Winter Banana?

    Also - timfromohio - any relation to edfromohio?
  8. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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  9. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Orchard update - after carefully scrutinizing my new book, along with two other books , against various catalogues I've decided to go ahead and order my apple trees from Boyer Nursery and the rest of my fruit trees from Stark Brothers. I chose Boyers as I can get my apple trees on EMLA 111 rootstock which is a slilghtly dwarfing variety but supposedly the most tolerant of heavy soils (which I have). Stark offered either M7 (the most common) or B118 - the catalogue didn't indicate which variety was on which rootstock, but I'm guessing based on their zone allowances that the ones tolerant below zone 5 were on the B118 which is supposed to be very cold hearty and or Russian origin.

    So, any comments from you guys on this approach?

    As an aside, the book I referenced in the prevous post is excellent.

    SolarandWood - we've still not heard of your orchard plans ...
  10. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi timfromohio, thanks for the quick review. That book was just featured in the latest Growing For Market publication I receive (http://www.growingformarket.com/) and recommended there as well, so I plan on purchasing that very soon. Thanks for the recommendation.
  11. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    DBoon - that Growing for Market looks pretty interesting. For Christmas my wife got me the Harvey Ussery book reviewed (she's spot on). It's also a great book if you keep chickens.
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I was in your neighborhood on business last week. Enjoying some of this tonight which caught my interest, blend of Northern Spy and Jonagold. My wife is thinking Macoun and Northern Spy. I've been reading the Cornell guides and it looks like my original site plan is going to get scrapped as the lower part of the lot is frost prone, tends to be wet and the deer loiter down there. Looks like a better spot is going to be up on the side of the hill just below the garden and fenced in. In addition to a few apple varieties, pear and cherries are part of the plan.

    Attached Files:

  13. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    timfromohio, I just received the holistic orchard book and perused through it a bit already. It looks like just what I was looking for.
  14. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    DBoon-awesome, glad you are pleased with the purchase! Keep us updated on what you decide to plant. This year I'm going with 8 trees - 2 cherry, 2 pear, 2 plum, 1 peach, 1 nectarine. After reading through that book I decided only to put in apples if they were on 111 rootstock and at this point in the season everybody is sold out, so the apples must wait.

    Happy planting!
  15. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    How did you come to your 111 requirement Tim? Millers isn't too far from me and there seem to be a lot of modern variants in stock developed for the harsher zones and resistance to the problems we generally see?
  16. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    The three books I read through as well as two conversations with folks at smaller nurseries convinced me that the 111 (or perhaps 118) would be best for my heavy, clay-rich soil. Miller stocks mostly M7 for semi-dwarf (at least that's what they told me on the phone). Stark Bro's had M7 and 118, but couldn't tell me which varieties were on which rootstock. The nursery guys told me I'd be wasting my time with M7 in heavy soil - it wouldn't anchor well and just wouldn't thrive as compared to the 111.
  17. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Gotcha. I am going to be near Miller's on Friday. Sounds like I should stop in and pick their brains before I order.
  18. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    I would definetly talk with them before buying. I was pretty frustrated with Stark Bro's. I figured that the varieties listed as hardy down to zone 3 or 4 were probably grafted onto the 118 rootstock (this is Russian in origin and was bred for cold-hardiness) with all others being on M7. They said that this was not the case, that all varieties could be on either rootstock, and that you had no idea which you'd be getting. I find this really hard to believe as M7 is much more dwarfing than M7 is supposed to be, so if you ordered a couple trees of any given variety you might end up with a tree that is 50% to 60% of standard if it was on M7 rootstock and one that was 70% to 80% of standard if it was on 118 rootstock? Not likely. This was probably just ignorance of call center people on the phone who were multiple steps removed from actually being remotely close to the trees or ever having had their hands in the dirt ....
  19. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Looks like we'll be picking up a few things from Miller's, I do have to figure out where to plant eveything though. Has anyone dealt with Millers before? Good stuff?

    I just put in my order with the soil and water conservation district for the spring plant sale, will be picking up some American Cranberry and Serviceberry ($10/11 for 10, bare root), I wish they carried more varieties of fruit bearing trees/shrubs. Can't beat the prices!
  20. timfromohio

    timfromohio Minister of Fire

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    Miller's had a few bad reviews on a review site I found (something like Dave's garden reviews - seemed to be the most prominent compendium of nursery reviews I could find). However, I'd group them with any of the larger nurseries - the people you talk to on the phone just don't know the details. If you can go there in person I'm sure it's a whole different ball game.

    Best of luck with your orchard!
  21. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    I had good luck with the trees I bought from http://www.raintreenursery.com/

    Only issue I have is that I bought 3 semi dwarfs and 2 columnar, all different veriaties. They are growing at completely different rates. I do not expect that I will get polination this year.

    Time will tell.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Raintree sells good stock. Many of our fruit trees came from them. Not sure how well adapted to the east coast they would be though. Ask first.
  23. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I purchased a Liberty Apple from Stark's about 4 or 5 years ago. Liberty is resistant to cedar apple rust, and since I have lots of cedars, I figured I would give it a try. I got a full standard rather than a dwarf, because I wanted shade as well. They charged extra for a "professionally pruned" specimen, and what I got was a stick with roots. It did sprout out nice, but I wondered if I should remove some of the bottom ones, as it was so profuse. I called them up, and they didn't really know, so I did. I have no idea if that was correct at all. Last year it blossomed for the first time, but no apples. Then I discovered ONE little apple growing about August, and left it there until September when I could no longer keep my enthusiasm in check, and picked it. It was underripe and tart, but intact. I am hoping for a better harvest this year.

    The best tree I bought came from ArborDay Foundation. It was an Elberta Peach, cost less than $10, and grew beautifully. I highly recommend that organization, they do a lot of good, and have a surprising inventory of quality nursery stock.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We have a Liberty. Tough little tree it is too. The deer have pruned it until it looks more like a lolipop than a tree. But it keeps on trying. The apples are about half normal size, but the fruit is great with a nice MacIntosh flavor. My wife liked the size for the kids lunches.
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have a 100 seeds in the fridge right now. They want a small fourtune for apple trees. I grew up on a orchard of 1000+ apple trees, guess I will take it real slow.

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