Sunday, March 08, 2009

More Fruit Tree Orders

Uh Oh....

Last weekend I looked online at Raintree Nursery again. Decided to order two additional trees to grow, using the backyard orchard culture method:

Surefire Cherry. I was thinking about my parent's cherry tree, and realized that I haven't had a pie made from sour cherries for about 30 years. Being into "slow food" - you can't get much slower than starting out with the a small, bare-root tree. OK, you could plant a seed to grow the tree, but I'll be dead before I get cherries from a seed-grown tree. Tree should be here in 1-2 weeks. The 'ideal location' in the backyard was occupied by a rose (Carl Brunner), so yesterday I dug it up and moved it a few feet to the former location of "Angel face", which did not survive the winter and has now joined other Angels in heaven. Well, actually, in compost, but it sounded nice. The location is ready, I added some chicken compost, and will add some eggshells when planting the tree. Some thought actually went into this selection: It blooms later than other cherries. Late frost has been a fruit-tree nemesis, so the later flowering is a bonus. Most sour cherries, including this one, are also self-fertile, so no pollinator variety is needed. They stay fairly compact, especially compared to sweet cherries, so the pruning might be easier as well. IT's on Gisela5 rootstock.

I DID say two trees. I've been developing a taste for asian pears - they are crispy like apples, but have more flavor, like pears. Not enough room for more than one, and most asian pears need a pollinator, so I ordered a multigraft Asian Pear. I won't know the 3 varieties until it arrives. It will be all but one of:

Shinseiki (medium to large, sweet, yellow fruit, late August).
Yoinashi (medium to large, russeted, butterscotch flavor).
Hamese (mid sized, sweet, yellow fruit, mid August).
Mishirasu (large, russetted fruit, late September).

They can't say which if the 4 is missing. If I could pick, I would go for the two sweet yellows and either of the russetted, but any combination is OK with me. Planning for this to go into a front-yard border, possibly in the location of the opuntia (winter did a job on that one too) or eucalyptus (also a winter victim - there is a trend here). I'll have to look at the site from multiple angles to scope out the optimal location.

We already have a multigraft European pear and a multigraft sweet cherry. Some authors are not crazy about multigraft trees, since some varieties may be more vigorous than others, but my feeling is that for trees that need pollinizers, it's a way to achieve that need in one tree. Plus, judicious pruning can keep the most vigorous in check and allow the other varieties some space as well. I've added a couple of unknown variety grafts to the dwarf apple trees, last year. If we are very lucky, they'll bear this year.

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