It may not look like much yet but a very rough, hilly difficult terrain is the home of my next hidden orchard. Wild persimmon, Mahaleb cherries, and BET pear rootstocks were my trees of choice. The wild life and weather are challenging here so i planted to match the terrain. These trees must be tough to survive so far away from me on the back of the property. I will go there to harvest mostly if i go there at all as i age. It may be the next orchadist problem or a hidden refuge for animals. Im not sure if my health will improve or get worse but if im able this will become a paradise future generations may wonder about in 100 years. I planted 50 trees+ in this location that are alive and growing quickly. By planting rootstocks ive gained a needed edge and will field graft these later
I took pictures of the BET rootstocks in front to follow up on the posts in the 40s and 50s on this thread Clark's Small Yellow Pear Graft . Its challenging to get pictures of this orchard without a drone due to the artificial terrain created using old pond dirt. And the natural terrain that was already there. Its very hilly because this dirt came out very wet and i used the pile to plant persimmons etc behind on the south side to create an artificial environment to adapt these trees to my area. Large leaves and wind are not a good combination. They will be grafted over to early golden persimmon, the cherries will be grafted to sour cherries, the pears will be multiple varities. The grafting will begin this year or next. I will clean up those nasty looking rootstocks at the same time. Ive not pruned or chevked on them for a very long time. Why would i check on them they just needed time to grow and left alone?
Very cool that you have started yet another orchard! I am in the process of making a new one as well and to me it is very exciting. It will be Fall or winter before any trees go in except for the callery pears that are already there that I have topworked or the ones I am letting grow until I get more scion wood next year.
The deer have been there and they love rubbing trees but those thorny BET rootstocks discourage even them. Few things white tails dont care for and bets and callery rootstocks are some of them. They rubbed one last year but didnt come back. There is a little poison in those thorns like a blackberry briar.
Slowly but surely, you’ll have a well groomed orchard. When I bought my home in the countryside, it was overgrown with weeds. Slowly I bought a tractor and kept up the maintenance. Now I proudly have 35+ fruit trees.
You’re a fruit grower after my own heart!
My property slopes down to the south and is fairly dry and cold in winter and hot & dry in the summer, with enough moisture in the form of snow and thunder storms to grow fruit. At 7,000’ there’s enough sun to fry an egg on the red rocks in the canyon below. I’m working toward getting some fruit trees plant next year for wildlife, but first doing some cover cropping to get rid of the Canada thistle, Tumbleweed, & Foxtail Grass that plagues this highly disturbed area, as well as to cultivate a soil biome that’ll support those tree in all but the worst times.
My plan is to establish wild cherry, serviceberry, Chickasaw plums, and some hardy apples. I’m interested in the Clarks Yellow Pear and the BET PEAR rootstock you used; will be checking to see if it’s available online.
Thanks for posting about you project; it’s nice to know there are folks planning for their “golden years” when a full labor intensive orchard might become an unrealistic endeavor! I’m headed that way, just like everyone else, just a little further down the path than some.
Rabbits don’t like wild callery pears and neither do deer. Your going to do good at this Picking that up so quickly. By field grafting those thorny pears later the animals are already trained to stay away from them.