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Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

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Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  tomperrin on 2/26/2012, 9:03 pm

Are there any really stupid things I can avoid from the outset? Is it safe buying from a box store like Home Depot, or should I go direct to a nursery or fruit farm.

Fruit farming is in our family history. But all the knowledge died with my grandfather. He's the kid on the left of the tall guy in the hat (my great-grandfather), about 1899. The photo is of their packing house on the family fruit farm in Milton, Ulster County, NY.



I've got enough room for a couple of apple trees and maybe a pear tree.

Tom
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  gwennifer on 2/26/2012, 11:46 pm

That is such a neat photo! Wow! Too bad about the knowledge dying off. Sad

I don't see anything wrong with buying from Home Depot or some other box store, so long as you know what you're buying since they are often guilty of buying the same things for all of their stores and you want to make sure you get something that will thrive in your area.. I research recommended varieties of things before shopping for them, and if I find them at a big box store for a great price - yep, I'll buy it there. I just scored a Compact Stella cherry tree from Lowes.

I will watch your thread for advice from others since I don't know how to take care of it yet! Good luck with your fruit tree journey!
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/26/2012, 11:53 pm

If the tree is good for your area than go to the BBS.

These are things to be careful of. My local Costco keeps all their plants inside the hot, dry store under the lights. It seems like that cannot be good for the poor tree but they probably recover in a year or two. I like when they are stacked outside and would choose that over inside trees.

Here's to pie!
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  quiltbea on 2/27/2012, 12:07 am

I've put in a few dwarf trees along our driveway in the last couple of years, 3 apple, 1 cherry and 1 peach but all bought online. This way I could get the ones I wanted and not depend on the few available at the box stores locally.



My dwarf tree line buried in snow in early April last year. The first one is the only cherry tree.



A month plus later, here that same Almaden Duke Cherry last May in its 2nd spring. The snow didn't hurt it. But the birds got all the cherries.

I got my Stark Bros catalog this year and they have several types of fruits in dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties but if you don't buy early, they are out of stock pretty fast.
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  shannon1 on 2/27/2012, 5:48 am

Tom that is one wonderful photo. I love the tree idea. Just learn about what to look for in a tree first and then have fun shopping. Quiltbee that is a beautiful tree. If I were not a renter I would be growing figs and plums right now.
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  jpatti on 2/27/2012, 8:54 am

I like Miller Nurseries; it's mailorder. I got 2 semi-dwarf apple trees and 3 blueberry bushes last year from them.
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  quiltbea on 2/27/2012, 12:22 pm

Unfortunately, my local sources didn't have varieties I wanted. They also had much larger trees I could not transport safely in my t-bird. Online ships younger whips so the hole dug is smaller and its easier to handle and plant. They also send along instructions on the planting and care of their trees.

The biggest changes are not to refill the hole with special soil. Backfill mostly with the same soil you dug out to make the hole. They want the trees to get used to their new home soil conditions and not need pampering. You can add compost all around the drip line of the tree and nearly up to the bark though. Also mulch is kept away from the base of the tree so little critters don't make their homes there and burrow into the tree stump. And no staking, unless you are in an ultra windy area. The gentle movement of the tree in the wind strengthens the roots. I never staked mine from day one and they are sturdy little gals.


My tree line early May before the last tree, a peach, was planted last spring.



My new peach whip on 5/22 after planting last year. The tomato cage around it keeps our golden away from it. She loves to eat tree limbs.
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Soil conditions

Post  tomperrin on 2/27/2012, 1:42 pm

@quiltbea wrote:The biggest changes are not to refill the hole with special soil. Backfill mostly with the same soil you dug out to make the hole. They want the trees to get used to their new home soil conditions and not need pampering.

My back will thank you for this every time I look at the trees.

Tom
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On a related note...

Post  JenJ on 2/27/2012, 3:00 pm

I'm thinking of planting dwarf or compact fruit trees in 1/2 whiskey barrels. Periodic root pruning will be needed so the tree doesn't outgrow the barrel, and other than this being a pain I don't see where it'd be a bad idea. I'm gleaning all the info everyone is posting here and wondering if anyone has experience with this specifically?

This is my first year (in the last 20 years) having a garden. I am SO EXCITED! It'll be the first year of SFG which I'm also super excited about. Last week I found 23+ year old polaroid pics of my Granddaddy's SFG.... pretty inspirational! Very Happy
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  gwennifer on 2/27/2012, 4:49 pm

JenJ, I was wondering the same thing - about container planting my new ultra dwarf cherry tree. Then we could take it with us if we ever move.

Introduce yourself on the Welcome Mat and show us those pictures of your grandfather's SFG! You can just take a picture of the polaroids with your digital camera - that's how I get around not having a scanner. I really want to see them!

Welcome to the forum and welcome back to gardening!
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

Post  shannon1 on 2/28/2012, 4:04 am

@JenJ wrote:
This is my first year (in the last 20 years) having a garden. I am SO EXCITED! It'll be the first year of SFG which I'm also super excited about. Last week I found 23+ year old polaroid pics of my Granddaddy's SFG.... pretty inspirational! Very Happy
to your SFG and your Granddaddy
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Re: Thinking of adding fruit trees this year....

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