NE orchard report


Looks good, my trees are done blooming already. Do you have yours on a trellis?

How’s your Macoun looking this year?


Are you sure it isn’t a carpenter bee? Those are my most cold hardy species.


I have two. One I moved two falls ago and it’s got some flowers on it. The other a Tall Spindle and it’s loaded.


It’s was a Bumble. It was more interested in my Blueberry flowers than my apples.


7:30 and sunny, many different pollinators in orchard. All is well on the Cape.


Nice ladder.!
What kind?
Where did you get it ?


Local store that sells commercial products. It’s the best ladder I’ve ever owned. Perfect for apple picking and trimming trees. Hasegawa tripod ladder, eight footer I think.


Thank you for starting this thread, Alan, and thanks to everyone who’s posted - it’s nice to get news from around the region.

A little update from Western Mass:

Our trees are still very young and not of bearing age yet, but we did a fair amount of planting, transplanting, and grafting this spring. The planting was mainly of new pear and apple rootstock, though we did put in a Madison peach (my wife wanted a peach tree) and a few ornamentals (a philadelphus, a hybrid calycanthus, and an aronia “brilliantissima”). The transplanting was mainly moving things out of the little nursery area to set up what will become a second Belgian fence (and clear space for the beginning of a vegetable garden). The grafting was of pears and apples. The pears were Harrow Sweet, Harvest Queen, Beurre Superfin, des Urbanistes, Winter Nelis, and Clara Frijs, and one more that I forget off the top of my head. They all look to be coming along pretty well. The apples were Pomme Gris, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Kerry Pippin, Claygate Pearmain, Court Pendu Plat, Old Nonpareil, and Edward VII (my wife requested an English-style cooking apple). Still waiting on the apples but not too concerned yet.

Apart from that, the apple trees in our first Belgian fence seem to be doing pretty well. There were a couple of trees that were reluctant to form a second scaffold branch for the Y last year. I attempted to use notching/scoring to nudge them in that direction last year, and my attempts seem to have been mostly successful, though I did botch one rather badly. Sorry, tree! Cost of learning how to do things, I suppose.

Oh, and we look to be getting our first ever apple blossoms, one little cluster on our Hunt Russet.


Thanks, my Macoun didn’t bloom this year at all, despite me pulling down some branches. Oh well. We have a few other trees that have set some fruit for the first time, so kinda geeked about that.


@JinMA —> Madison peach has been very reliable for me in NE Ohio. I usually need to thin. I harvested a few Claygate Pearmain apples last year and they were fantastic.


Yeah, I’ve seen that one and it looks extremely well made. I will stick to my various sized little giant ladders which allows me to fit a lot more ladder in my small truck bed.

It has always been the ladder I use, but when I hired an assistant who had 10 years commercial apple pruning experience, he decided that the LG’s were a tad safer also.

I also like being able to climb up and down either side. When you are used to them it seems very unlikely you’d have a ladder accident as long as you check for stability before you go up.


You probably know this, but Macon’s can be biennial if you don’t take off some of the apple. They are my favorite so I have two so I’ll always get some every year.


I like the railings on this.


Don’t get me wrong, I was blown away when I first saw one of those. For all that strength they are incredibly light. I have never tried using one, just the standard orchard tri-pods.


Yes great thread, thank you for starting. It’s very helpful to see local regional reports. Quick observation from stow MA. The last 2 days I’m starting to see the first very small gypsy moth caterpillars in a few Apple trees.


The Capes rain last couple of Springs have decimated the gypsys with the fungus that kills them. I even had them eating my Leylands which totally surprised me a few years ago.


I saw tiny gypsy moth larvae, too. Leaf rollers also start munching on young leaves. Also, with so much rain and lengthy low temp, my grafts have developed ever slowly.

@Johnthecook, what you gave looks like a Tesla of ladders :smile:


Well, my Macoun has been triennial (or is it quadriennial?), because it’s never bloomed since I planted it three years ago! Maybe next year.

The only trees I have two of are G16 Grimes Golden’s, one bloomed this year, the bigger one right next to it did not. I only planted two because they are supposed to do well in these parts.

Anyway, this is the first year any of our trees have set fruit. Five apples and three pears, all but two were planted in '16, the others in '17.


Where did you buy your orchard ladder from? I’d like to buy one, but don’t know where to find them (locally). I think Peaceful Valley sells them at a reasonable cost, but the shipping is several hundred dollars… Other online stores are rather expensive.


Macoun is known for its lack of cooperation- it tends to grow oversized, excessively vertical branches and takes its time to bear. Spreading helps and removing excessively thick branches does also.

When they begin to bear, you best manage them by rotating less vigorous uprights that produce on the second year on the two year wood- removing the shoots after that two year wood bears to make room for the new shoots.