Follow up Visit to Scott Smith Orchard! Part (2)


Excellent photographing skills. Those close up fruit pics mde me hungry!!!

I guess our forum founder is so well-respected that the city named a street after him. :wink:


I want to hear @fruitnut thoughts about scotts place because of his experience and he planted few orchards too and seen a lot too. I am not ignoring other experienced members but I do not know others well and you are welcome to comment too.



I have a question. Are you still spraying your whole orchard with a backpack? If so, how long does it take?


I think Scott’s orchard is amazing. Very neat, no weeds, and loaded with fruit. The most amazing part to me is the slope. Some of that is very steep. But it’s well mulched and no erosion.

I don’t know what his soil is like. Texture, drainage, depth, and water holding capacity. With that slope if it doesn’t rain too much I’d think there should be enough water deficit to get the brix up pretty good.


I asked him yesterday and he is using 4 gallons backpack sprayer. About time I will let Scott answer.


What a beautiful yard. Trees and all ! I wish mine was like that. Nice job!


We gets over 40 inches of rain annually . Last year it was over 71 inches. The way Scott puts enough mulch water is not an issue and year after year good care made the soil very good. Just my observation.


@Naeem @scottfsmith

Very nice pictures, lovely orchard! Wow, I can only imagine the amount of work that goes into maintaining this!!!

Question on picture2 - Can you tell me more about the grapes - variety, flavor, harvest dates, seedless?, etc I like that its sized up really nicely and nice small clusters like the ones grown in Japan!


nice orchard Scott! i see you like mulch as much as i do. the stuff does wonders to the soil and you barely have to water, weed or fertilize once you have been mulching for 2-3 yrs. just like a forest floor. :wink:


@scottfsmith A few questions:

1-Some of your plums are very brightly colored, how are you keeping the birds away from them?
2-Some leaves are covered with a lot of surround, doesn’t that interfere with photosynthesis and hence, lower the sugars in the fruits?
3-Which variety are the huge apricots in the photo? I believe there is only one apricots photo, towards the bottom of the list.


I’m not :frowning: The camera was showing more the bottom view. The tops of the Nadias in particular were badly pecked, probably more than half the fruits were damaged. I should have hung the reflective tape earlier than I did; I managed to keep the birds mostly out of my sour cherry with the tape only. Nadia is pariticularly bad in that it gets red way before it is ripe, another disadvantage of that plum. The Early Blush has much less bird damage since they color up only just as they are becoming ripe.

Some studies were done and which concluded that it makes no difference. Apparently the trade-off is in really sunny weather it cools and moderates the sun and without the Surround the leaves need to scale back photosynthesis more, so overall it is a break-even.

Those are Florilege. In size they were not much different than my Ilonas and other NJ ones; they are bigger than the whites, Tomcot and Orangered. Florilege is an excellent tasting apricot, and also later so it extends the season of cots.


Scott, how do you keep the area by the trees weed free?




How do you keep the rodents from girdling your trees? My orchard is a jungle of wire.


I have to weed under the trees. I don’t have any rodent girdling problems, that seems to be mostly places with constant snow cover in the winter, something we don’t have here.


Your place looks great! I’m trying to get to that point here.


Scott -

What are your feelings on tree spacing now? I noticed you use double rows in some areas and single rows in others. What tree and row spacing would you try to shoot for if you had fresh open ground and no existing trees? What would be your target tree height?



I am now needing to get my trees higher out of deer range and also fewer varieties to have to deal with. So I have been progressively thinning out trees to the best varieties… I had a row with 50 trees that now has only a dozen or so.

For someone starting out if you are not wanting to experiment with hundreds of varieties I would say the main advantage of close spacing is if you have little room in your yard. Big yard with few varieties … don’t use close spacing!


Thanks for the info Scott.