Introducing myself to Scott's forum


My spice zee struggled last year as well. It thrived when I planted it in '15 but after moving it that fall it didn’t react well in '16. I think the new planting spot is too wet. It gets runoff from my driveway and seemed to get soggy feet during the spring rainy season. Did seem to recover a bit in summer after the weather got drier. I’ll probably move it this winter to a new location and see if that helps.


I am not sure what K’s spicezee rootstock is. I will ask her the next time I am over there and take a picture of it before it gets pruned, but I am pretty sure she would just respond “semi dwarf.” I would make an educated guess that its on citation, since the majority of what H&H orders from DWN seems to be on Citation, unless special ordered in the fall.


Hi everyone,

My name is Jamie and I live in Western Massachusetts (zone 5b) with my wife, our four-year-old daughter, and our dog, Joe. As a complete novice, I want to thank you all for creating such a welcoming community. I’m still very much at the beginning of things, but you’ve all done a lot already to reduce my stockpiles of naive optimism, unwarranted worry, and general ignorance. Or at least move things from one pile to another :wink:

My greatest gardening accomplishment so far has been digging up the three dozen scraggly yew bushes that surrounded our house when we moved in. Our neighbors were very pleased with the change in their landscape as well, because they, like us, found the yews depressing. When I mentioned that my wife wanted to start a vegetable garden, one of them said, “You know, with the bushes gone, you could grow some fruit trees if you wanted to. We’ve been growing a few back there ourselves.” Fruit trees? Really? Is that what those are?

You can see where this is going. My wife likes the idea, so I start doing a little poking around online, reading a few books from the library. (Really, there are how many varieties? wait, a rootstock is what exactly? and this espalier thing, how does that work?) At some point, I show one of the books to my dad, who grew up in rural Michigan. And he says, “You know, my dad used to graft apple trees. He showed me how to do it when I was five.”

So, we’re going to give it a shot, starting this spring, and see if we can pass on the family tradition, so to speak. Though I don’t think my wife is going to be letting our daughter handle a grafting knife for a while yet…


Welcome Jim. Try to graft pears and apples first because they are easier than stone fruits…



Welcome, James! Glad you found us. This is a great forum to learn about growing fruit. And, we talk alot about veggies, too, so you’re in good hands. We look forward to seeing some of your trees and that veggie garden!

Patty S.


Howdy Jamie, and welcome. I was in a similar situation to you a year ago, I knew squat about fruit trees, rootstocks, fireblight, and so on. But I have learned so much from folks on here, and I don’t seem so intimidated by it as much. I also dove into the subject like with a lot of new things that interest me and find it fascinating. Hopefully it will be a hobby that lasts a long time.

Still have a lot to learn, and while my little orchard hasn’t produced anything yet, I’m excited about having our own fruit to grow and pick and enjoy in the upcoming years.

Good luck with your fruit and veggie growing endeavors. Plus, being in west MA, I’m sure you’ll be close to a bunch of fine orchards and learn something from the folks that run them. We had a chance to visit a large orchard last year, and were fortunate to be able to talk to the owners, and glean some insights to their business.


Hey folks…Bart here…again!

I joined the forum very soon after Scott created it and then (for reasons I don’t understand), I went dark. I resurfaced about a year ago and got into scion trading and grafting, but two separate killer freezes robbed me of all my fruit except blueberries, so I went dark again. I can’t overstate the devastation: No plums, no peaches, no apples, no euro pears, no asian pears, no peaches, no kiwi, very few strawberries. It was awful.

Now I’m back again and hopeful for a better season. I’ll post a message in the scion forum to get the trading ball rolling again.


Hi everybody, I’m Fredrik

I come from Oslo Norway

Family man wanting to build an adventurous garden for my wife and kids…

Take on fruit growing: I want to explore the possibilities and limitations of my USDA zone, whilst building a collection of robust trees and shrubs with versatile fruit for fresh consumption and preserves.

As of jan 2017, I am currently growing:

A. arguta (Issai, smallish vines, planted summer 2016)
A. kolomikta (Unknown, male planted summer 2016)

A. triloba (Prima 1216, self polinating, planted summer 2016)
A. triloba (unknown, not in the ground yet)

D. kaki (Ichi Ki Ke Kei, 2’ not in the ground yet).

F. carica (Brown Turkey, in a pot, small bush)
F. carica (Chicago Hardy, in a pot, still very small)
F. johannis var afganistanica (Common, in a pot, but no wasps in my zone)

H. lupulus (Cascade, one year in the ground)
H. lupulus (Nordbraü, one year in the ground)

J. regia (Broadview, 4’ been two years in the ground)
J. nigra (growing from nuts for a friends woodland project)

L. caerulea (Unknown, still in a pot, to plant this year)

P. armeniaca (Harcot, 5’, been one year in the ground)
P. armeniaca (Hargrand, 6’, been one year in the ground)
P. avium (Sunburst or similar, 40 year old tree in my yard when I bought the house)
P. cerasus (Unknown, 40 year old tree in my yard when I bought the house)
P. cerasus (Fanal, bought as a 5’, been two years in the ground)
P. cerasifera x domestica (Aprimera, 5’, been one year in the ground)
P. domestica (Opal, bought as a 5’, been two years in the ground)
P. dulcis x persica (Robijn, bought as a 5’, been two years in the ground)
P. persica (Nana, bought as 4 foot, not in the ground yet)

P. domestica (family tree, three unknowns, came with the house)

R. rhabarbarum (Unknown, giant rhubarb that came with the house)

R. aureum/odoratum (Black Pearl, medium bush in the ground for 2 years)
R. nigrum (Big Ben, medium bush in the ground for 2 years)
R. nigrum (Øyebyn, medium bush in the ground for 2 years)
R. rubrus (Red Dutch, two large bushes came with the house)
R. uwa-crispa (Captivator, small bush, one year in the ground)
R. uwa-crispa (Invicta, small bush, one year in the ground)
R. uwa-crispa x nigra (Jostaberry, small bush, one year in the ground)

R idaeus (Asker, a 60’ hedgerow that came with the house)
R. fruticosus (Navaho, small bushes, two years in the ground)
R. fruticosus (Unknown, thickets that came with the house)

S. nigra (Black Lace, small bushes, one year in the ground)
S. nigra (Common, small bush, one year in the ground).

V. corymbosum (Bluejay, small bush, one year in the ground)
V. corymbosum (Blue crop, medium bush, one year in the ground)
V. corymbosum (Goldtraube, small bush, one year in the ground)
V. corymbosum (Jersey, small bush, one year in the ground)
V. corymbosum (Patriot, large bush, one year in the ground)


You should be getting quite a bit a fruit this year!


@Itilton , yeah I hope so, but alot of the plants are pretty juvenile and needs some more growing seasons.
Hopefully, I’ll get to plant a Morus nigra, black mulberry and a Discovery apple tree this summer.
I also have alot of sowing projects, but I’m running out of space…



Glad you’re back.

It sounds like you need to plant more blueberries. Double up on what works best to tilt the odds in your favor.

It’s okay to feel glum, but don’t let the bad years prevent you from striving for better years.


Welcome Fredrik. That is quite a diverse group of fruits, nuts and berries you’re growing. Looks like you’re growing quite a few blueberries and gooseberries. I’m surprised so many stone fruit would grow there in Norway, guess it’s warmer than I thought, but you did say it’s zone 6a there. How do apples and pears grow there?

Just a short aside, but when we lived in Dallas, TX, I worked 5 years at a power supply company that was later bought out by Eltek, which is based in the Oslo area, in Drammen, I believe. That was the last job I had before we moved up here, I’m “semi-retired” at the moment. Anyways, welcome to the forum, hope you enjoy your time here.


Hi @subdood_ky_z6b

I’m actually an electrical engineer and we frequently use smartpack and flatpack from Eltek, maybe developed by your former company?

Anyway, in regards to the climate in Norway. It is varied and ranges from glaciated terrain and barren mountains running along the central mountain range. With warmer climate towards the coast or in the lower terrain to the east.

In the north there is artic tundra, with dwarf birch and mountain birch. Zone 2-3 at the coast.

In the middle, around 1500km further south, there is mixed forests at the coast and fir/spruce forests and zone 3-4.

Then there is the southern part which is like an onion, zone 7 and 6 at the coast, then zone 5 further in, and then the zones dropping proportionally with distance from the coast and elevation. Above 6000’ there is only rocks covered with lichen and ice.

Around Oslo, Zone 6, we get one cold spell at 0°F every other year or so, but most years it’s not that cold.

Apples fair good, I live next to two orchards and most of southern lowlands is apple country.
Stone fruit is mainly in the zone 5, 6 and 7 areas. Some spring frost will destroy apricot flowering in the east. On the west coast they grow cherries comercially and are now experimenting with commercilization of apricots and peaches.

My next door naighbour (almost, like two houses and a stream over) is a plum orchard.

Every summer we get A LOT of sunshine, though temperatures are mild. Once every summer we get a heat wave with temperatures around 90°F.

So it is warmer than expected for places at this latitude. We are at 60° north, the same as Anchorage AK, but with much nicer weather.

When it comes to all my plantings, some fail. I’m replanting a black mulberry in a hell bent determination to make it work. I had one which was destroyed by frost, so now I’m getting an eastern European cultivar. It’s like this, we can not grow any of the main cultivars of the more heat loving plants, it’s mainly Canadian or Russian cultivars that do well (walnuts, peaches and apricots etc).

So this was a lowdown of the land of the midnight sun… Thanx for the welcome and have fun in Texas.


Wow, what a small world! Yes I am very familiar with Smartpack and Flatpack’s. We didn’t make them in Dallas, I think they were made in a China facility, but were shipped to us for installation into our power rack systems. I was a tester at Eltek, so we used those -48v and +24v rectifiers to test the smaller systems.

We were originally called Valere, and then Eltek bought us out. Last I heard, though, another company has since bought the facility I worked at. But I keep in contact with my friends there sometimes, even though we’re living in Kentucky now.

You are certainly north, I guess the Gulf Stream current helps to moderate the weather there, and hence being able to grow more southern oriented fruits. OK then, good luck with your growing orchard, sounds like you’re off to a good start.


Thanks Matt!

It was just a perfect storm of freakishly bed weather in my location. I’m not that far from you as the crow files and I think you had some problems too last spring. Maybe not? Either way, in around 10 years at this site, last year was an anomaly.

But since you mentioned blueberries, what are your favorite late season varieties? I saw you mention Ochlockonee in another thread. Do you know how that compares to Climax? That’s my latest variety but I’d love it if I could extend the season a few more weeks.


Last spring sucked!

Go with Ochlockonee-- it is a late season rabbiteye, and is the best one I have.

I have Climax, too, but its taste has been subpar so far. Maybe it will improve as the bush gets bigger.


Hi Guys,

I recently found out about this site via the North American Scion Exchange link. I know some of you from over on GardenWeb and later Houzz.

I’m 49 and bought my first home that I’m in now in 2009–in West Jordan, UT (Zone 7). I had never gardened before and was somewhat daunted about keeping up about .15 acre of property! Ha!

As with most things in my life, I get going on things when I get pushed. About 6 years ago, my sister-in-law gave us 5 tomato plants that I wasn’t happy about at first, but it didn’t take long at all before I caught the disease and now I have a small urban farm! Sometimes I wish I had a bigger piece of property for growing more, but I’m actually quite thankful for all that I have and I’m plenty busy with it as is!

I primarily enjoy growing fruit. However, with such a small piece of property, I was forced to get into grafting a couple years ago. I love having various varieties the whole growing season!

Being a relative newbie, I’m doing pretty well with my fruit, particularly in keeping it organic. I felt pretty good last year in learning about spraying the cherry trees at just the right time with neem and eliminating all the worms. I also was happy about all the garlic and yarrow I planted, which dramatically got rid of most of my aphid problem. However, I’m still trying to figure out how to take care of my apples organically. Last couple years have been disappointing with the apparent moths moving in to wreak havoc on the fruit. This year I’m going to try neem and perhaps hang a few tanglefoot balls on the two apple trees I have. Also, I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with squash bugs. (Yes, technically squash is a fruit.) Any suggestions are welcome!

Anyway, I look forward to learning more from y’all! Thanks again Scott!

Rob Sivulka


Welcome, Rob, glad you found us. Lots of great assistance here on the forum, especially in dealing with pests. We’d love to see some photos of your garden when you have a chance. I know you’ll enjoy yourself here, lots of folks who have also “caught the bug” :slight_smile: :beetle:
Patty S.


Thanks Patty! And thanks again for the Flavor King scion a couple years ago. It didn’t work, but I got another that did. Still appreciate your helpfulness!


Oh, and yes I love to post photos! I’ll be posting plenty of them this year. For now, here’s a pic of 2 big Kieffers from last fall that produced their first year after grafting! They are great for canning! My kids love them! I had a couple really big flowering pears on my property when I moved in, so I grafted quite a number of fruit varieties on them. Kieffers were the only ones that produced so far on them.