I’ve been working for a few years now to build up an orchard on a SE facing slope in the Catskills (Zone 5b). I’ve got some peaches, Illinois Mulberry, plums, paw paw, persimmon, apple and pear. All are “rated” for my zone and most are doing well. I’ve only had issues with the persimmon (Yates and Meader) splitting bark during the winter (sun scald?). Otherwise, they’re growing. Just really slowly and not even a hint of fruiting.
I’d estimate that most of these trees (all 2-3 years in the ground and planted from 5gallon buckets) are growing about 3-8 inches per year. Paw paws even less. Based on what I’ve read, I should be seeing a lot more growth.
Is there a chance that they just aren’t meant for my region? I’m starting to suspect that tree nurseries/vendors list the zone that their trees can survive in, but not necessarily thrive or produce fruit in. If that’s the case, most of my trees would seem to qualify.
Any advice here? I’m leaning towards fertilizing 2x a year (early spring and 1-2 months later). I haven’t really been fertilizing yet. Maybe 10-10-10 though I’m still doing some reading on this.