Here are some photos of my current home orchard. Three years ago I bought an abandoned ramshackle 2 acre place in Battleground WA, via bank sale. I have been moving everything I can from my prior place in Vancouver WA, which I’ve had and gardened at for 14 years. Eventually, when the Battleground place has a kitchen and floors in the living areas, we will move there and sell the Vancouver place. My most mature and productive trees are in the Vancouver place, but the new orchard is starting to show some promise. The remaining Vancouver trees are too big to move, but I reproduced some via cutting or graft at the Battleground place.
The mature trees in Vancouver. I keep most pruned to under 8 feet tall, as close to Backyard Orchard Culture - style as I can in this non-sunny maritime climate. The apples are minidwarf, except the columnar Northpole.
The Battleground place, main orchard. Roughly 5 trees X 5 trees grid, with more around the edges. The arborvitae are on the West side. Greengage and the two NOID plums came with the place. Stanley, Almaden Duke, Illinois Everbearing Mulberry, Montmorency Cherry, the smaller apples, were 2-3 year old trees that I moved from the Vancouver place, so now about 5 or 6 years old. I also had the peaches there, in containers, 1-year old, so now 4 years old. Bloom was very good this year on the peaches, most of the plums, and looks excellent on some of the cherries. Not pictured, I have multigraft Asian pears in Vancouver and Battleground, the Battleground one being a Home Depot Hosui that I grafted with Mishirasu, Hamese, and Shinseiki and the other one that came with the place got some european pears; plus I have another group of figs, apples, and pears on the second acre. The grapevines are not big enough to show.
This was the only fig tree I was able to move, that was 2 1/2 years ago before surgery and chemotherapy - no way I could do that now. This was a cutting, probably Brunswick, now 14 years old. Lots of brebas showing now, 3rd leaf since moving it. I have new fig tree starts 1-3 years old at Battleground, of Atreano, King, Lattarula, Carini (Frank on F4F), Dominick (Coop on F4F), Hardy Chicago, LSU Tiger, and in containers, LSU Champagne, Smith, Tiger, and 4 others.
Despite my earlier post about woodchip mulch, most of these have straw mulch, and I expand the mulched areas with grass clippings to kill grass, or use torn up cardboard to kill grass and cover that with straw.
As much as possible, I am trialing disease-resistant varieties, hence the unusual peach varieties. I aim for later bloom, when I can, because of the variable springs here. I multigraft so that pollenizing varieties are close together within the same tree, and because one 5-variety tree might be less maintenance than 5 one-variety trees, and because I don’t need a bushel of each type of apple. Not that I mind puttering. The fences are due to deer, the hardware collars are due to rabbits and voles. The deer only browse to about 4 or 5 feet high, so once above that, the trees are OK. So far.
The “cherry street” should give a bowl of Vandalay (self pollinating) and Sweetheart (self pollinating) this year, and a couple of pies from Montmorency. I’m not sure about Northstar, didn’t realize it would stay small, and deer got to it too. Almaden Duke should have about a pie’s worth too - it may get reworked to Rainier and Lapins and Stella, if I can improve my cherry grafting skills. I tried 10 T-bud grafts last summer, but only one took. Depends on whether I like this years cherries.
You are invited for a personal tour if in the area. Warning, the photos look neater than the actual place.