Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Fruit Trees. Backyard Orchard Culture.

Some additional
Indian Free Peach from Raintree. I was able to cut it off very short due to placement of buds, so it will make a nicely formed Backyard Orchard Culture peach tree. This variety is reported as blooming later than others, and reported to be resistant to Peach Leaf Curl. It is not a genetic dwarf. I am giving up on those. Amazing number of flowers, and it is several weeks later than the genetic dwarf varieties. So far so good.  The flowers are near the ground.  I expect that next year they will be higher.

This is Almaden Duke Cherry from Raintree. It is on Gisela 5 dwarfing rootstock. It was planted last Spring. I pruned it to 2 feet tall, per Backyard Orchard Culture guidelines. I would have shortened further but there were no lower branches. Amazing it is blooming already. I wanted a later-blooming cherry. It is blooming at the same time as the sweet cherries. Raintree states Almaden Duke is self-fruitful, and is thought to be a seedling of a Mazzard cherry, both sweet and tart.  There are so many flowers, it may have enough for a pie.  I will let it fruit at a small age, because that will stunt it a little.  Small size is what I want.

This is that Illinois Mulberry. I may need to shorten the branches. Mulberries leaf out later than many other fruit trees. The buds are swelling. Once I start to see mulberry flowers, I will see if I can cut it back a foot or 18 inches to force lower branching and open structure.

These are the new peaches, from One Green World, an Oregon nursery. One is Charlotte, the other is Oregon Curl Free. Both are on Lovell peach rootstock. Both are considered resistant to Peach Leaf Curl. I could not find info about whether there are late blooming, which would also be good. I planted them in containers due to being unsure if the existing peach trees would bear. If the existing peach trees do not have peaches, out with the old, in with the new. If the DO, I'm not sure where I'll plant these.  The tubs were $6.00 which is cheap for a large planter.  I drilled lots of holes in the bottom before planting.  The rope handles will be useful for moving the trees.  Possibly even move them out of the rain in the winter?  Most of the low branches were pruned off.  I'm not sure where I prune them - the lowest buds seem too low, and the next higher set seems too high.

This is the Stanley plum. I left higher branches in place than I wanted, because I was unsure if there were lower viable buds. This tree is branching at about 3 feet. It came from a local big box store last year. Stanley is a well known, old European plum variety, reported to be self-fruitful. This is currently my only Euro plum. The others are Asian plums.

It's interesting to me that I have a Stanley plum, a Stella cherry, and a Blanche fig.  Such a passionate and literate orchard.

Almost all of the fruit trees I planted last year have at least a few flowers. The one that does not is the Methley plum.  Generally we don't want them to fruit when too small, but it's OK to hope for a taste.  Since I am not going for big quantity or big size, it should be OK to leave a few fruits on each tree. The Almaden Duke Cherry is big enough, and vigorous enough, I can leave all of the cherries in place.

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