A few of my trees

For no real reason at all, I just wanted to post a few of my trees. Be gentle! I need to mulch, weed, paint trunks, thin, prune, and more! But I think I still have a few nice trees here!

First, this is an unknown old peach tree that is full size and was just one tall limb when I moved here 4 years ago. I’ve been getting it spread out ever since. It ripens extremely early and tastes pretty good for an early peach, so I want to keep it for sure!

Below is a photo of my Black Tartarian sweet cherry tree. It’s 4 yrs old. In the same row, the next 2 trees down are Montmorency Cherries.

Below is one of my Paw Paws. Its just 3 years old (well, its been here 3 years) so from what I know this is amazing growth. This is actually a wild paw paw that I dug up from a patch that produces AMAZING, delicious paw paws. I just dug it up with a big root ball, as much long tap root as I could get, and the 1 foot or so tall tree (at the time).

Below is a plum (on 3rd leaf! Planted Oct 2013) that was bought at Lowes as a “GOLD PLUM” whatever that is! This is first year for fruit and its loaded (already thinned once) so hopefully I’ll find out if its good.

Below is a June Gold Nectarine that is on 3rd leaf (planted Oct 2013). First year it has fruited and its loaded- already thinned it once. I’ve always been told nectarines will be very hard to grow here, but so far this one looks great and has nice fruit.

The photo below shows 2 other plums- one I’m proud of and one I’m not. The one in the foreground (w/shovel for size comparison) is a Santa Rosa. I don’t know what’s wrong, but it has some kind of problem. It leafed out like normal this year and even produced a heavy crop of blooms and then fruit. It put on about 1 inch or less of new growth on branch tips, but then it just completely stopped growing- it hasn’t put out a single new leaf in 3 weeks. Many of the plums are dropping off. Just by looking at the tree, you can see that it is basically just limbs with little greenery. It is the same age and used to be the same size and shape and look of the other plum in the picture, which I am proud of. That plum (in background) is a Methley Plum. Both are on 4th leaf (planted April 2013). This is first fruit that either tree has produced. Santa Rosa is holding on to some, but Methley is absolutely loaded. I’ve thinned twice and need to go in for a 3rd pass!!!

Tanks for looking.


I couldn’t resist a few more…

Here is a photo of one of the groups of peach trees in my little orchard. You can see several of them, and in the background you can see a full size pear that was here when I bought the place. It needs serious work but its so big I’m intimidated by it so I haven’t done anything! All the peach trees shown are 3 or 4 years old except the one right in front of the large pear tree. It is the one I mentioned in post above which was here when I bought my place and that I’ve been spreading out ever since.

Here is another photo of the old, unknown peach. You can see how loaded it is and how I’ve finally got it to spread out, in part by cutting an 8-inch caliper main trunk that existed when I got here. It was basically being grown as a central leader tree and I cut that “central leader” . But I’m pleased with how it looks now.

Below is another peach I think is doing pretty well, though you may disagree. I am sort of pleased with how low it is and how spread out I got it. I’ve thinned it twice already and it still has too many so I’m probably going to thin a bit more. Its loaded with fruit. It was planted in November of 2012 so its on its 4th leaf and growing like crazy, in spite of having a heavy fruit load!

Well, I’ll stop there for now. AS you can see, it was a beautiful day here so I wanted to get some good photos and finally show some of my trees. After loosing most of the season last year on most of my trees due to the spray from my neighbor, I can’t tell you how wonderful it has been seeing so many trees fruit for the first time!!! I love growing fruit!


Dang Kevin! You always make your orchard sound small but you have a huge area to plant and some great looking trees. Those trees have tremendous growth for their age. I wish mine grow that well. You must have really good soil. From the looks of your trees I’d think you be getting really nice crops now. Please take some fruit pics when they start maturing.

Excellent looking orchard. You have a huge variety of fruit trees!

Thanks, folks! Its always a bit unnerving to show my trees…like showing photos of your kids- you are proud but you aren’t sure if anyone else will think they are as great as you do! ha. I know I’m an amateur, but I am proud of most of my trees and I think they’ve turned out well for the most part. Almost everything in these photos are 3 or 4 years old. ITs the first time I’m getting fruit from most of them. Last year would have been the first year but of course they dropped all blooms and fruits after being hit with neighbor’s spray. But in a way that makes this year more fun. I sort of skipped the first year when you normally might only get 5 or 10 pieces of fruit and went straight to the 2ed fruiting year, which has a decent little harvest for most trees. Very fun.

It’s sort of funny that you said my dirt must be fertile, @speedster1. I say that because last spring I planted about 8 fruit trees in one of our city parks. They are on their 2ed leaf this year, and they are honestly double the size of the exact same species and variety was in my own orchard at that time. That had me convinced that my orchard dirt was actually pretty poor since everything else is the same (sunlight, weather, etc). The park dirt is jet black, soft, a little sandy…just incredible. And the trees and berries there have done much, MUCH better than the ones in my orchard. SO I’m glad to hear you say my trees look to be equal or ahead of what you’d expect for trees of their age.

Thanks again for looking at my photos. Its fun sharing.

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Very nice pictures. A lot of stuff there, you have your work cut out for you! I’m always a tad envious when I see fairly flat land to plant fruit trees on.

Hey Kevin,

Nice pics. I hope my trees look as good in a few years. Didn’t you say in a previous post that a lot of your trees are Big Box store purchases, or are they mostly bare root buys?

My whips have put on lots of leaves, little sprigs, and even some blooms, which get pinched off. I had a deer or some other varmit nibble on a couple of my apple trees, but thankfully left the other 9 apple and 2 peaches alone. So, the next day I was out there putting wire cages around them. I guess they’ve left them alone up until now because there’s so much other greenery about us.

I have other unprotected fruit trees down by the corn patch that I plan on caging up soon. Plus, none of my pecans are protected, but they are still not showing a lot of budding out yet, so I guess the deer are ignoring them for now.

My 6 foot Winesap tree from Lowes seems to have taken to its new transplant location by the corn patch. It’s budding a lot of new sprigs and leaves, and has been blooming like crazy, but those are getting pinched off.

The Moonglow pear from L’s is about as tall, and is doing OK, some of its leaves are yellowing, which I hope is because of all the rain we’ve been getting. That’s also happening to my little peach whips. The other two bare root pears are just now sprouting buds/leaves.

We’re under a frost/freeze warning tonight, and hope it doesn’t take out our sweet corn sprouts, which are about 3 inches high now. I was going to put a tarp over some of the corn patch, but it was so small I just decided to forget it. I’ve got blackberries and strawberries starting to bloom, and I can’t cover all those, so I’m praying it doesn’t get that cold tonight.

We have a couple of old tall Milam apple trees that bloomed and now have lots of applets growing on them. So, I spent the weekend thinning out what I could reach in a chair. I doubt I made much of a dent in them as they seem to be over 20 feet tall.

OK, I’ll close today’s essay. But, I will try to enclose some pics from the farm in another post. If I only knew how to do it.

Great looking trees Kevin!

Once again, thanks to everyone for looking and commenting. When I bring friends over and show them my trees, they are always nice and try to act enthused, but it’s obvious they are really thinking “ok, so you have a bunch of little trees. Big deal”. haha. Its nice sharing with people who get it!

@subdood_ky_z6b - yes, I have a lot of big box store trees. Probably a little less than 1/2 of my trees came from Lowes, Walmart, Best Buy, Tractor Supply, or other similar outlets. That is a fairly controversial thing to do, so you will need to decide for yourself whether to continue buying big box trees. The downside is you don’t know the rootstock they are on, or how they were treated before you got them (ie rootbound, etc), and some will say mislabeling is more common. I’ve had about the same number of mislabeled trees from reputable, internet nurseries, though. I will say that there seems to be a big difference in big box labeling, with Lowes being the worst/most likely to get it wrong. But unlike most, I haven’t been terribly upset by mislabeled trees since all of mine have still turned out to be good, productive trees of the correct type (peach, apple, etc) but wrong variety (red haven, elberta, etc) . But I know I’m in the minority on that and most people are extremely upset to get a mislabeled tree.

For me, the upside of big box trees is worth the above listed disadvantages. They are cheap, you get to pick the best tree and inspect it before buying, and they are larger and (being potted) establish themselves so much better that it often saves 1 or 2 years in time-till-fruit. But again, this is just my opinion and does differ from many others.

You definitely need to post some photos of your place and trees. If I can help I’ll be glad to.

Did you get a frost last night? Did it get your corn?


You should be proud of your trees. They look very healthy. Must be good soil and good care. We love what we do (gardening/orcharding). We have the right to show off, I believe.

Yes good job buddy!! Looking good! OK, now the hard part, keeping them! I have more fruit than i thought. The freeze looked to damage them, but apparently they were young enough to overcome. Lot’s of new tastes for both of us this year. It’s turning out to be a good year. The Great Lakes did protect my trees. No frost these last two days. One tree, a lucky 13 had flowers that didn’t fully open, they looked badly damaged, yet most set fruit! Wow! Indian Free that needs pollen, and the wind was blowing the other way, somehow is loaded to the gills. I just sprayed for brown rot today, 2nd spray. Good luck with it! Keep an eye on them!

Thanks, @mamuang. By the way, I owe you a special note of thanks! You may recall me posting some photos of my black tartarian cherries and you and others said I needed to let them ripen longer, which I did. However, almost in a single day the birds both found and stole almost every cherry on the tree!!! The one big exception, fortunately, was that I had several of them bagged with the “Clemson Bags” that you suggested I buy. And because I had extra bags on hand I was able to bag the few cherries that the birds left. Long story short, thanks to you I am going to be able to let at least a few of my sweet cherries ripen fully. Without those bags I’d have never got to even taste one of my fully ripe sweet cherries- which I’ve waited 4 years to do!!! So thanks for the bag suggestion…it was a big help. Now I want to try your perforated bread bags!

That is great news Drew! Your situation sounded pretty bleak last time I heard, so I’m glad you got surprised. And you are right about the next challenge being to keep them!!! As you can see from my post above, my Black Tartarian got raided badly and in a single day I lost most of the fruit. But thanks to @mamuang’s suggestion that I get some bags, I am still going to have enough to taste, which is great. Next year I’ll have nets and/or the “tulle” someone suggested. And btw…I also have some first time fruit on one of my Indian Free peaches. I can honestly say that based on how many great reviews I’ve seen of it, I’m looking more forward to trying those than anything else in my orchard. If I can just fight of the animals and insects a few more months…and I’m going to try hard (nets, sprays, etc) as I’m sure you will.

Amazing as it just fruited for the first time. The birds usually take some time to find these things!
My White Gold has fruit, so I may have to net it, but maybe the yellow color will fool them?
I do have tulle bags for breeding, I may have to use them. I have netting too, try that first.
I was looking at last years garden journal. It’s not a bad idea to keep one. My Indian Free was ripe in October. I have last harvest as October 12th. Probably earlier in your area. So yeah a tough one to keep till ripe! I had 23 fruits on it. I have more this year.

You’re welcome.
But it is ironic that I have bags ready for peaches but no peaches to bag :sob:

As for bread bag bagging, I was successful with yellow plums as they prevented bugs from getting in while birds do not bother yellow plums.

If you use bread bags for red plums, birds may pick on them as they seem to like red fruit. Bread bags would not prevent bords from easy picking.

Considering what your trees went through last year, they look fantastic! Your harvests should give you extra special enjoyment this year.


Hey, our corn and taters look OK, some of the tater leaves look a bit curled, but think they will be OK. Our grapes, strawberry and blackberry plants look to have survived also.

I put a temperature sensor down near the corn patch and it got as low as 28, but our sensor up at our house read about 35. We’ll see how the veggies look after a few days to see how much damage there was. I’m more worried about more rain in the forecast for this week. We need to get our tomatoes and peppers in the ground, but the soil’s too wet. It’s supposed to be sunny and warm in may, right?

Both my wife and I are under the weather, she had a 102 temp and feels awful, and I’m doing a bit better than her, but still feel achey. Both of us were outside Saturday when it was windy and cool (50’s) doing various chores. She was out there in T-shirt and shorts, which might explain her worse condition.

When I finally got out today to look at the he plants, I discovered my Winesap got pretty much stripped of leaves up to about 4 feet, obviously a deer raid. I was infuriated, but I have myself to blame, because I had bought some welded wire fencing last week and had 3 days to protect the trees but didn’t. My Lowes pear tree got some leaves removed, but not as bad. The other 4 bare root trees appear undamaged, prob because they’re just now budding out.

So, needless to say, I got the fencing around the 6 trees, even though I felt like crap. I figured I’d better get it done today, because don’t know how I’ll feel 2morrow, and more rain is coming in tonight. It’s like living in a rain forest here!

If the Winesap got its leaves and some small sprigs stripped, do you think it’ll grow new ones? You know, I used to think deer were beautiful graceful creatures. But after having experienced multiple veggie thefts and damage over the last 3 years, I see them now as evil, devious, destructive, opportunistic varmits from Hades. Too bad deer season only lasts a couple months here…

Regarding your BB store purchases, hey, all that matters is that they’re still alive and producing. I guess one advantage is if you get a pretty big tree, you might be able to get fruit a year earlier or so as compared to a bare root version. But, you don’t know what kind of rootstock you’re getting, which I’d like to know. Just for trying to figure out how much space you’ll need. And, you might not get the variety you thought you did.

My wife was at a Rural King (like Tractor Supply store), last week and called to tell me they had lots of fruit trees in containers. Said they had a lot of “sour cherry” varieties, but nothing specific. I might’ve bit on one, but would kinda like to know which variety.

I think my tree purchases are done for this spring, we’ve got plenty for now. Gardening season’s really getting rolling, and we need to concentrate on that. But next winter, look out! I still would like to add a couple more peach and tart cherry trees, plus there are maybe four or five more apples I’d like to add.

I think I can add pics, it’s just that I spend a lot of my time on this site on my tablet, and would have better success on my laptop. I just was wondering how to add a pic from the tablet, I don’t see a pic enclose icon anywhere on here.

OK, I gotta get some sleep. Nite all.

If your garden area really got down to 28, I’d say your tender new sprouts of corn would be a goner…and if you had any tomatoes out I’d think they would be too. I was amused by you saying you wish it would stop raining so you could plant. ME TOO!!! I’ve worried myself to death over it. I haen’t even put out a single thing in my garden, and I almost always have my garden all put out by the end of the first week in May. But my garden has been too wet to get in for about 2-3 weeks. Just like you, I’d say, its rained here just about the time my garden gets dry enough to work in. Oh well. Neither of us are in danger of running out of time…we will just have later gardens.

I thought maybe you asked my about big box tree buying because you were thinking of buying there- that’s why I went through the whole debate. Overall, I come down on the side of thinking its not a bad thing (but certainly not a way to completely build an orchard- less than 1/2 my trees came from Big Box stores. AS for not knowing the rootstock, you are right, that can be an issue, since there is a lot more to rootstock than just size (wet soil tolerance, resistance to critters and diseases, etc) but they do say whether they are semi-dwarf or not, so you get a pretty good idea how big they will get. I wish we had a Rural King, btw…I’ve heard good things about those stores.

As for you wanting to add “a couple more trees” next winter…good luck with that thinking!!! haha. If you have space, I’m willing to bet you’ll buy more than a couple. I’ve told myself “just a couple more” for the last 30 or so trees! hahaha

Good luck with the garden…hope we both get some dry weather.

Excellent point. Surprisingly, as bad as things were last year, most of my trees did bounce back. Most were either killed outright last year (18 or so) or they almost died but came back pretty much in great shape this year. There are some exceptions, though. Mostly pears…I have several of them that still clearly are screwed up and/or have strange, poor, twisty growth on the tips. A couple other trees that were hit hard seem to still be messed up, but I can’t be 100% those are due to the spray last year or some other problem.

Either way, thanks for noticing and complimenting my trees.

You have a very nice orchard, Kevin.