February 18, 2013

new (to us) fruit trees

2013.02_fruit tree tags
As I mentioned earlier, we inherited five fruit young trees from the previous owner:
  • pear (red sensation bartlett)
  • peach (diamond princess)
  • apricot (patterson)
  • cherry (2x bing semi-dwarf)
The tags contain some information: the peach and pear are self-pollinating; the cherries are on semi-dwarf root-stock; but not much else. I'd like to geek out and know allll the details. As you can probably tell from the remainder of this post.
We got in on a friends' order with a nursery, so we'll have two bare-root apple starts coming in April:
Interestingly, I learned this about dwarf rootstock from Alexis Ziegler's book:
"Dwarfs may have other problems as well. They are less vigorous, and may become stunted and unproductive if they are stressed early in life. With apples in particular, the wise choice is to simply avoid dwarfs. If you have a very limited space, get a semi-dwarf and prune it when it's dormant. That's basically what commercial orchards do."  
The Crimsoncrisp and Winecrisp should produce about a month apart–check out this cool maturity chart from Adams County Nursery.

The late winter is the ideal time for pruning, so I'm getting ready to do that. Unfortunately, I can't tell any of them apart since they're all dormant and I don't yet know their barks:
I'm looking for books/resources on pruning and tool recommendations. So far, I've looked at Growing Fruit Naturally by Lee Reich. I also might check out his "The Pruning Book."

Funny, I just started listening to The Botany of Desire chapter on apples and had an urge to rewrite this post from the point of view of the apples–evolving to be sweet and tasty enough to entice me into planting them!

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