As promised, fruit tree planting report

OK, after introducing myself to the Forum in a previous post, here is the promised tree planting report. Bear with the wordiness, I am not the best self-editor.

Apples (planted 4/1):

Novaspy, on G16 rootstock

Grimes Golden (2), G16

Liberty, Winecrisp, G202

Golden Russet, G222

Goldrush, G890

Honeycrisp, G210

Roxbury Russet, G30

Pristine, King David, M7

Apples (planted 4/28):

Macoun, Cortland, M7

Winesap, from big box store, unknown rootstock, supposed to be semi-dwarf

Pears (planted 4/1):

Orient, Pineapple, Callery rootstock

Pear (planted 4/28):

Moonglow, from big box store, unknown rootstock, supposed to be semi-dwarf

Peaches (planted 4/1):

Redhaven, Coralstar, on Lovell rootstock

Pecans (I know, not fruit, but I like 'em, being a native Okie), planted 3/27:

2 each of Caddo, Oconee, Lakota, Zinner

So, there you have it, 27 trees planted over the last 5 weeks. So tired of digging; in planting the pecans, the soil was really rocky with small stones, had to use a pick axe to get some soil out. My wife was about to bury me after that ordeal.

The other sites weren’t as bad. Plus, staking the apples was a chore. Would be nice if some of them could do without the stakes after a few years. I imagine the M7’s would be OK in a few years, our soil is a nice loamy, clay mix. I would imagine the other apple rootstocks would need to stay permanently staked, correct?

Just glad to get those out of the way, now that we’re getting into planting the vegetable gardens. Lots of bush-hogging, plowing, discing, and tilling to get that going. Our taters are coming up, last we counted we had 200+ hills, and our seven rows of corn are now peeking thru the soil after a week. It’s been a busy April, obviously, and still got more to plant in May.

The apples and peaches planted on the 1st were from Cummins out of NY, they were very nice and thick, ranging from 7/16 to 11/16 inch whips. Most were straight, but a few had curves in them, may not have got the best specimens, as I ordered relatively late, in mid March. That would also explain the varied rootstocks, as I had to take what I could get with the varieties I wanted. All of these have sprouted either leaves and some have bloomed out even without any branches on them, which I didn’t think was possible with such young trees, but I am still new to this. I’ve pinched the blooms off, and left the leaves, which I hope was the right procedure. Will all these leaves eventually turn into branches? If those blooms were left on they wouldn’t have turned in to fruit would they? I really hope I didn’t screw them up by removing the blooms.

The other 2 apples were from Wallace Woodstock in Wisconsin, I planted them last night. They were 9/16" caliper and even had some small branches. The Winesap was a 13/16" caliper tree in a 5 gallon plastic pot that already had leafed out with blooms as well. I pinched the blossoms, and left the leaves. It is over 6 feet tall, I hope it will survive the transplanting. The Moonglow pear also was from the same store, potted in a similar pot, it has many branches and leaves on it also, but no blooms. Guess I will have to wait until next March to prune both of them, as I don’t want to mess with them now since they’re out of dormancy and were in the pots.

The pecans and other 2 pears were from PlantMeGreen out of Florida. The pecans were 2-3 foot whips, which were mostly straight, but a few were quite curved. The pears were nice and thick. I think I’ve only seen a couple of new buds on the pecans and the pears, so maybe they’re just settling in. They’re not dead, I did a “scratch test” and saw bright green under the bark. Just have to be patient, I guess.

I’m not even sure the pecans will do well here, they prefer long dry and warmer summer days, ala Oklahoma and Texas, but thought I’d give them a shot. People have seen pecan trees around here, just don’t know how productive they are. Black walnuts are prolific here, we have a couple growing on the farm, but I do not like them, the flavor is too bitter. I would like to try growing some English walnuts here. Anybody on this forum in this part of the country have luck with pecans?

OK, I said I’m done with my tree selecting, but I must admit, I’ve been looking at adding some more. I would like to have a couple of tart cherry, in addition to a couple more peach and apple trees to the orchard, but guess I will have to wait until next year. Should wait to see what the present collection is going to do before getting more. But, I have to admit, I almost pulled the trigger on an order with ACN last night for some more fruit trees, but resisted that urge. For now.

Well, guess I will close this novel for now. I welcome all questions, criticisms, suggestions, comments, as I am still learning about this field. Have learned a lot already but need more practical, real-world info as well. Take care.


Sub, congrats on your new orchard. Your efforts are impressive. Like you, when I started my orchard 11 years ago, I took what rootstocks I could get at the time from Cummins. The trees were very healthy. In hindsight, I wish I had been more patient and waited for rootstocks more suitable for me–the full-size pears are very difficult to keep under control, and some still are not bearing. Also, I would not plant G30 again due to it’s brittle nature and poor graft union–it is precocious, however.

You mention an interest in English/Persian walnuts. You are further south than I, but I know KY has had equally brutal winters in '14 and '15. Here in OH, our Persians were killed or severely injured, leading me and other growers to write off Persians for good. I would add Hicans instead. And I think if you add some Black Walnuts to chocolate, the taste will slowly grow on you! You will eventually come to think of “English” walnuts as boring.

For tart cherries, I would look at the Romance series bush cherries rather than trees.

Good luck and keep us posted.



DON’T FIGHT THE URGE. IT IS A LOSING PROPOSITION! And it only delays the inevitable .

Some here have adopted the motto…




@Lucky_P is in Kentucky and grows many nut trees, hopefully he will give you some pointers. Lucky has many pecans as well as other nuts.

If the rootstock is only semidwarf you don’t need to rush to stake. I personally don’t stake any stock until it starts leaning. Lazy man’s approach :smile:

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Hi Marc, and MES,
Thanks for the reply. A few months ago, I had zero fruit/nut trees, outside of a few old apple and cherry trees that have been here on the farm before we got here. Now we have 27, and I wonder what I have gotten ourselves into!

I tend to be a bit OCD about new things that interest me. My wife can attest to that over the last couple months that my new obsession over fruit and nut trees has been both comical and a little bit concerning.

A year ago, I knew nothing about rootstocks, pruning, fireblight, and the like. Now I could tell her about a bunch of it, and she humors me by listening. But, sometimes I imagine she’s really thinking, like, dude, give it a rest!

But, my career training is in electronics and diagnosing of failures and how do I repair such failures. I’ve always had an analytical approach to just about everything in life, just guess that’s how I’m wired. I like to know how things work, and how can I fix them if they don’t.

But, back on topic, I think I did well with my rootstock selections, as I think our soil, which is a nice mix of clay and loam, would support these trees OK. I’m wondering which of them will need permanent support. I would imagine the G16 and G30 would require that, but don’t know about the others. But, I’ve purchased some 6 foot T-posts, and will prob stake those trees to the posts eventually. I have 4 foot tobacco stakes next to them and tie them to the stakes if there are storms or really high winds forecast. But for now, they’re freestanding, I would like them to build up their trunks and roots by dealing with the wind. Right now, since they have no limbs and just some leaves, I think they can handle it.

I didn’t stake the pears, peaches, or pecans, as I’ve heard they can probably support themselves. The pears might get really big, but I gave them about 20 feet spacing. The peaches got about 18 feet.

With the G16 apples I gave about 12 feet and the rest got 15 feet of spacing, with about 18 feet between rows. Hope that’s sufficient.

I don’t know about black walnuts, they seem awfully bitter to me, I really like the English varieties better. My wife likes either one. Regarding chocolate, I guess anything drenched in that would taste good! I do know it just about takes a sledgehammer to get black walnuts out of their shells, too much work.

Really hope the pecans will take here, but just know if our growing season is good enough. They need long, warm, dry summers like back home in Oklahoma, don’t think they’ll fill out properly here. Plus, the winters may be brutal on them. But, we both love them and wanted to give them a shot.

OK, better get out there and get mowing, it’s been really rainy here, and we’ve got a small window of good weather to get our lawn controlled. Plus, the back pasture is starting to look like a savanna with all the rain we’ve had, thought I just bush hogged it a couple weeks ago.

I think you are fine for pecans if you get the right varieties - shorter season, more hardy, and more disease resistant. I planted pecans a few years ago and found out its hard to find the better varieties. I don’t know much about your varieties, but I do have a Caddo. Its not too late for me but it could be close for you; it is somewhat scab sensitive. Kanza is probably the best one overall, super disease-resistant, hardy, and not that late.

Hey Scott,

Yes, I’ve talked to lucky_p on the GW forum about pecans. He was concerned if I had a southern variety rootstock on my trees, that they may not make it thru a really harsh winter.

They are on Caddo RS, so don’t know how hardy that will be. They prob will be OK for normal NE Kentucky winters, but the last 2 of 3 winters here have been brutal, and I don’t think they would’ve made it.

When I ordered my trees, I wanted to get a Kanza, but their inventory was basically out of them, so I kind of had to settle for the ones I got. I just wanted to get a good mix of type 1 and type 2 trees for cross-pollination.

But, we’ll see. This recent winter was relatively mild, but that certainly can’t be called a trend.


I do wonder why someone would have so many trees, as I doubt a couple or even a family could possibly eat so much fruit in a year. But, as I’ve learned from my wife, we could always can it!

Plus, I guess you could give it away to neighbors or other family, so it’s not totally wasted. I guess the bug really hits when you pick that first apple or peach and wonder how you could ever eat a store bought fruit again.

I’m pretty impatient, and don’t know how I can wait more than a couple of years before I can do that. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to check the local orchards for kind of a preview on what we have to look forward to. Luckily we are relatively close to some fine orchards in KY and Ohio. I’ve already scouted out some online, and hope to find some good fruit.


These are just a couple of reasons in answering the question “why?”

Even thought this has been a miserable spring, going out to see this gives one the strength.



Be sure to put some wire cages around your trees so the deer don’t obliterate them. Also put some cylinders of hardware cloth around them so the rabbits and mice don’t chew the bark and girdle the trees. In the winter, use spiral trunk protectors or white latex paint to protect the trunks from the sun splitting the bark.
I also second the idea of going with the Romance bush cherries, rather than trees.
I hope your orchard does great!

Hello North,

We put black plastic corrugated pipe around the bottom couple feet, but haven’t put the cage around them yet. We have 4 foot high fencing to use. How far out should the cages be from the trees? The trees are 3-4 feet tall.

We do have many deer in the area, but haven’t seen much since the winter, and knock on wood, they’ve left my trees alone. But I know it only takes one night, and my investment could be ruined. I guess they’ve found something else to feed on for now, but that could change.

I checked your profile, and you seem to grow just about every kind of berry! We planted some strawberries this week, hope they do well, doubt they’ll produce anything this year, though.

Would really like to get some blueberries going too. Would it be too late for us to plant some of them now? Or should I wait until next year? I understand they need really acidic soil and we haven’t had the time to take a sample, and perhaps amend it. That might be something that’ll need to be done over the next winter.

Are there any particular blueberry varieties that you would recommend?

I have 6’ high cages around my trees. I either overlap the ends to make it expandable or else make the cages about 7’ by 7’.That might be overkill, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
If they are potted, you can plant blueberries most any time. I add a generous amount (50% or more) of peat moss and a handful of sulfur to the soil mix. I also sprinkle around them a generous spoonful of ammonium sulfate each spring and iron sulfate if they look pale in the summer. Mulch helps a lot, too. Don’t ever let them dry out. It works for me in our very sandy soil. My favorite is St. Cloud. Northsky, North Country, and Northland do the best for me. Jersey, Chandler, and Kabluey are not very reliable, so not hardy enough here. Blue Crop and Blue Ray generally do well. I don’t have the ideal spot for blueberries, but they provide enough for us most years. Shoveling snow over the bushes helps, too. I also enclose each bush in chicken wire. Eventually I will probably net them under PCV pipe. My attempts at growing blueberries all failed until I found this forem! Once you know what to do, they are relatively easy to grow unless you have really high PH soil.

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