Backyard Orchards, chronicling, musing and more

I wish that was my yard. Those trees were planted only a few feet from the property line. The nice green lawn behind it is my neighbors. We don’t have fences in my neighborhood.

In my own backyard, you cannot walk far without running into fruit trees.

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Ugh. I took way too long and the chipmunks got most of them. I was able to pick just 3 ripe berries. There are still a few left and they are day neutral everbearer varieties, so they should continue to produce for the entire growing season. I just need to eliminate what is eating them…

So, I did finally get the wheel setup last night and in addition to a chipmunk, I also got a big snail/slug/some gross thing. I’m not sure exactly what it was, but while it was somewhat capable of climbing above the water level, it was not smush-resistant.

I have some fruit on both varieties this year and am a bit worried about rot. Most of the fruit has a large crack that exposes the seed inside the pit. So, I suspect that it will take a very thorough fungicide program to keep them from rotting.

I don’t think anything ate them, but it looks like it died soon after starting to grow. Looks like I’ll need to plant something else there. I’m undecided about pluots, or a multi-graft peach.

This was a loring seedling that I pulled up from between some stacks of slate that I had by the edge of my driveway. It was growing in the debris that had collected between them and I was able to transplant it without much root loss.

It came though very well, even though it had already leafed out when I pulled it up.

Here it is now, almost 2 months later with 2 strongly-growing grafts on it. I did leave a 3rd branch as the original seedling variety to see how similar it is to Loring (which is pretty good).

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I had some difficulty figuring out what were in your first pic!! I saw a rodent’s legs on the top part of the pic and an odd-looking thing in the water. Not sure how you could have those two in the same pic. I cannot set up the killer wheel as my family has strongly objected to it. I saw chipmunks running around and some half-eaten strawberries. Very frustrating. Now that it will be raining for 7 days, I can kiss my strawberries goodbye. Gray mold will ruin them like it did last year again.

Re. Donut peaches cracking, that is not good news. I have those grafts plus a Saturn in the same tree!! I wonder they are prone to crack because they are early, like early peaches?

Did you find out why that tree died? If it died because of soil borne disease or wet foot, you may need to do something because planting another tree there again.

That seedling of yours is one tough little plant. What did you graft on it?

Our temp went from 91 F on Thurs and Fri down to mid 50’s yesterday and 48 F this morning. I feel sorry for my watermelon plants.


Which reminds me, the mulberry seedlings that I pulled up didn’t do nearly as well. But, as I was pulling them at a rental and potting them up at home, they were in a plastic bag (with some water to increase humidity) for several hours. Even so, they were wilted by the time I potted them and never really recovered.

After about a month though, they are starting new leaves.

They are wet, as I had just watered them. In fact, I also used a couple of them to hold male kiwi branches. I have 2 kiwi planting and one of them had the male cut back to the ground a couple years ago. It’s regrown and is now big, but still hasn’t flowered. So, I cut a few branches from the male at the other end of the yard and waved them around the female (wind pollinated), then stuck them in the pots with the mulberries and placed them around the large female vine.

While there is more rain in the forecast than we’ve had for the last month (roughly zero), there isn’t that much. I see 2 days in the next 7 with rain, and they are only 50% and 30%. Could be a lot worse.

It’s an apricot and that seems to happen to them around here. I have no idea what causes it. But, I’m not going to bother planting another apricot there. I remember Alan saying that some sites have this happen and others don’t. Well, I’ll just chalk this site up as one where it happens. Hopefully I can get a few years out of the other 3 trees there which are all pretty good sized. Only the Sugar Pearls has much crop this year.

So, I’m not expecting any problems if I plant something other than an apricot there, either pluots or the peach, or even more jujubes.

The other way apricots die is piecemeal. One part of the tree just starts wilting. Then more and more. Sometimes they recover, but not too often. I should probably just cut the wilting branch off. I’ve done it before and the tree ended up dying eventually, but maybe it delayed things a bit. I just noticed one like this yesterday, on my Mirsanjeli Late. It’s got fruit that I was hoping to sample for the first time…It could be a bit tough to see, but the branch at the bottom of the pic is wilting, while the top of the tree is fine.


Whenever my trees died in section like that, I suspect verticillium wilt. You can cut the trunk and check the condition of the wood. It’s easy to recognize damage from v. wilt.

Also, I wonder if your apricots died of phytophora root rot.

I would spray once with Indar or infuse, then bag them in Clemson bags. I had a lot of cracked stone fruit avoid rot that way. You are about a month away from their expected ripeness.

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Is that approach more effective than just spraying every 10 days or so? I’ve been using Luna Sensation, but it looks like it is similarly rated to Indar.

It could be. I’ll need to take a look at the wood after I cut that branch out.

Personally, I don’t like spraying my fruits the last month before harvest. So, this approach allows that.

I admit I am not too keen on bagging donut peaches with Clemson bags. Their small size does not seem to be worth my time bagging.

Guess what, the mullberry rootstock has budded out.

Wish I found it and planted it a lot sooner.


I’m a lot more cautious about insecticides, as I’m closer to an insect than I am a fungus :slight_smile:

Their labels seem pretty loose about it as well:

Luna Sensation: “Do not apply LUNA SENSATION within 1 day of harvest”
Indar: “Preharvest Interval: Up to day of harvest.”

Regardless, I’d like to leave at least a week or so. Though, I guess that could be a problem if the crop ripens gradually, rather than all at once.

Might still do fine. And if it doesn’t, I can give you some of the potted ones, assuming they make it. I’ve taken note of a few others that are in-ground as well. One is growing out of the hedges and 6’+ tall- I’m not sure how easy it will be to extract…

Speaking of mulberries- I ate my first almost ripe mulberries of the year. A few redish Oscars, which weren’t bad, even though they weren’t really ready.

I cut off the branch and thought that it could be V Wilt:

Then, I cut the branch in the middle and it looked fine:


The dark streak in the wood of my tree died of v. wilt was clear. It took my redbud tree 4 years to died a slow death. The dead branches increased in number as that’s the way the wilt worked.

Thank you for the offer of mulberry plant. I hope this one will grow well. I think I will have to move to a sunny spot. This spot is too much shade.

By the way, here come troubles.
Black knot on my Mirabelle plum.

And chipmunk’s damage. The nasty critter did not even eat the whole berry !!



I’m surprised nothing eats those chipmunks. They would not last a week here.

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I had the same thing in my hardware cloth enclosed strawberry bed. The top is only covered with deer netting for now so I suppose I need to secure the top with more hardware cloth. Though there are two less chipmunks tonight.

they are a favorite of minks and ermine here.

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@clarkinks , @brace and @steveb4

We don’t have minis or ermines here. Once a year, we may see a red fox but it has too many things to eat.

We have a few neighborhood cats walking through the yard. They are well fed by their owners. I swear they roan my yard because of my catmints. Although they are not catnips but I see cats rolling around in those bushes many times. They are not here to hunt. They are here to get high.


Sad about your mirabelles!

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Mrs. G,
As you know, Black knot and plums are unavoidable around here. Wish there is an easy fix.

My Parfume de Septembre sets so much fruit. I need to seriously thin them out otherwise, it will go biennial next year.

Some branches are too low to the ground, bunnies help themselves with leaves.

Probably need to remove these branches as they don’t gave leaves to support the fruit.


It is still one of my favorite fruits in your orchard. My squirrels would have stripped that tree clean! Here, every year I get more an more mirabelle, but not a set like yours. It is warm here and out chill hours which they need are limited. I will have enough this year for jam and a few tarts. My friends are looking forward to it all!