Happy New Year 2023 scottfsmith

As we start 2023 I would like to thank @scottfsmith for creating this forum. Not only is there an incredible amout of fruit growing information here, there is also the Lounge area with very interesting topics discussed by mostly very civil and intelligent members. I’ve learn much more then I expected. I even learn from and appreciate posts I disagree with.
Thanks Scott and Happy New!


I agree with above poster. Thank you Scott for this forum, very informative and I’m learning a lot about the fruit trees I grow. Enjoy reading posts with discussion on persimmons and citrus trees.

Happy New Year !


Happy New Year all!


Happy new year everyone!


Happy New Year!


Happy New Year, Scott! and all. Btw, Quite a job you doing! But you are the man!

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happy new year scottie. :rose: :rose: :tulip: :hibiscus:


Happy New Year!!!

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As we start a new year, special thanks to Scott, yes, and to all our administrators.

Happy New Year!!! :partying_face: May this year be successful for everyone!

Indeed… Happy New Year to all [especially our most benevolent dictator :wink: ] whou make this site so useful and enjoyable.

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Yes. Hopefully things bottomed out in ‘22 and will start getting better now. Hope you all have a great year.

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Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Scott and everyone else here, but I like the idea of signaling Scott out as an object of appreciation for the creation and maintenance of this forum- we don’t know his birthday, after all and New Years is as good a time as any to thank him.

On another note, here is the letter I wrote to my customers. I’m sure it applies to many forum members in the colder regions of this country, so some of you might find it interesting.

New Year’s Letter

Happy New Year, although things are already a bit dicey in the world of fruit growing here. Long stretches of warm weather during winter do not bode well for next year’s crop as it encourages early flowering that is often followed by hard late frosts, freezing out the crop. I know it is welcome to have days in winter that are more like spring, but I’m hoping for not too much of a good thing.

But never mind the always uncertain future of cropping fruit in the northeast and let’s revisit the year just behind us. Last winter was not harsh and perhaps left flower buds too tender when we dropped into something near 20F at the end of March. Less benign sites like my own got down to 19F, which I didn’t think would cause much damage because most trees seemed dormant enough- only apricots and Japanese plums showed the first peeks of green.

I was encouraged when all trees flowered beautifully and were well tended by many species of native pollinators in my own orchard, but I learned a few years ago that flowers are tougher than ovaries in the fruit species I grow and it turned out that the ovaries of many varieties were killed on that single cold night in March. In my own orchard my nectarine, plum and pear crops were almost completely frozen out and some varieties of peaches and apples were as well. The earlier the flowering the more likely the damage, but the critical lows only occurred in half the orchards I manage and often light crops on apple trees was just the result of too much fruit the year before. Overcropping creates biennial bearing of apple trees for most varieties at most sites.

And then there is always the issue of feathered and furry fruit bandits, and although pressure was not great early in the season it kept getting more intense as we got deeper into summer and any acorns from the previous season were finished. Birds, squirrels, coons and possums started to seek fruit wherever they could reach it and at some orchards both baffles and nets were required to realize harvests. Then we had another acorn crop failure, perhaps due to the same late March freeze that injured so much tree fruit, and true desperation set in. In my own orchard, where baffling is impractical, I lost all my late peaches and only harvested a fraction of my late apples. My deer got into the act as well as two bucks settled in my orchard reaching much higher than does ever do. Last year no animal even bothered to eat my apple drops and all the time and money spent setting up baffles was probably often unneeded insurance (but who knew?).

We had a stretch of drought in mid-summer that really helped the quality of any fruit on trees- less water, more sun= more sugar in the fruit, which after the last 3 excessively wet summers was a little frustrating for me, I didn’t have the crop on my trees to exploit these sunny, warm conditions. Some of you in more fortunate locations have mentioned how much you appreciated this season bonus. The drought also probably led to even more bird predation of fruit and the overall lack of other available food in the woods.

In the end, it was a less than stellar season for most of the orchards I manage, but at least those apple trees that bore lightly or not at all this last year are primed to over-bear this coming season. Not only that, but the dearth of acorns in many areas should mean that there will be a low population of competitors for our fruit next year.

Here’s wishing you have a great 4 seasons in 23.


Here, here. To Scott Smith for giving us all a forum on which to share our growing ideas. Many thanks, Scott.

Alan, I reallt appreciate the practicality of your New Year missive. You point out a lot of things that many folks don’t think about such as water content of fruit and how the natural supply of acorns plays such an inportant role in satisfying the wildlife around the orchards and gardens. I like to think that keeping water features refreshed in my Nashville property help to satisfy the needs of the wildlife as far as hydration is concerned. We feed our wild birds during the winter but stop when the weather starts warming up and they are never without a supply of water. Even the deer show up for the water during the winter since we keep warmers in the baths to keep the water from freezing. We have three sentinel oaks and several shag bark hickorys. So we almost always have all types of wildlife in our yard year round. It’s really delightful to see pregnant does coming out of the nearby woods to get the water. What a life!

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