Feel free to just skim through the photos. But for those interested or who may have a similar tree, I’ve tried to sort of give a “review” of my opinion of most of the trees. I’m up to almost 150 trees now and these are just a few. But I’m really having a banner year in my hobby orchard this year, so I hope you’ll allow me to show some of my trees and their fruit as of yesterday! Thanks for looking.
Below you are looking at 4 fruit trees. In the foreground on the right and left are 2 full size peach trees (Hale Haven and Canadian Harmony - both of which also produce my largest 2 peaches) And while they look completely out of hand in the photo, they actually do have a bowl shape and are clear in the center. But obviously they could use a little (lot) of pruning. But I’m still young enough to use a later and don’t mind doing so for picking 1-2 times a year. And you can imagine the yield I get from these big trees! Directly behind them you can see one O’henry peach on the left, and one giant, 30 foot tall full sized Bartlet Pear tree. No ladder is going to reach those pears you see up top! The O’henry in back left has has that one limb growing straight up and towering above the other peach trees and I DO plan to cut that out. Just so you know how big these are, I planted them 20 feet apart and all 4 have grown together. I like having these overgrown super trees with huge production, but I understand they violate a lot of backyard fruit culture so I’m not suggesting anyone else do this. Almost all of my other peaches are kept much smaller, even more wine-glass shaped, and can be picked from ground. But here are the wild-ones:
Blow is an Asian Pear that is only on its 4th leaf. I forget which variety but its tagged. This guy is a heavy producer ans (so far) not affected by fire blight like most of my Asian Pears have been.
I grow 6 varieties of Paw Paws, but the one shown in the photo is a paw paw that I found in the woods while hunting one fall. THe fruit was about as good tasting as any of my known varieties, and the production was amazing. So that winter I dug up a sucker and planted it in my orchard. The first year it barely grew, second year just a little more. But then it took off. It’s 6 years old now and the production is unreal…just huge clumps (5-6 fruits per clump) hanging all over it). The only bad thing about it is I have to admit that the seed to meat ratio isn’t as good as most of my domesticated varieties. But overall this is a real winner. Both pics are from the same tree.
Here is a 7 year old Yellow Delish. Everyone really enjoys these for whatever reason- perhaps just the color. THey do make some of my best looking, blemish free apples each year, a lots of them. One again, I could do a better job controlling it/pruning it but it performs great so I basically just cut out anything growing back toward the center and let most of the rest go.
Both of the next photos are of the same tree: a 9 year old Bruce Plum. This tree, as you can see, produces a HUGE fruit load every single year. THe plums it produces are VERY large- even though I don’t thin as much as I should (yes, believe it or not, I did thin this tree quite a bit on TWO occasions. Yet it remains loaded. The fruit is just starting to ripen and when ripe are a very nice pink color. I’ve trained this one more like a bush over the years so that the fruit heavy limbs can touch the ground at their tips, thereby taking a lot of weight off the scaffolds. I love everything about this tree except one thing: THE TASTE! ha. And that’s kind of important. Others think its pretty good, but no one raves about it. Its not all that sweet and has a strong “plummy” flavor I’m not wild about.
These next 2 pics are of an 8 year old June Princess Nectarine. I love almost everything about this one. Tastes wonderful, fruits dependably every single year, ripens in a time window I need (after my early peaches but before my main-season peaches…meaning it ripens last week of June here. Fruit also hangs on tree forever so you don’t have to pick it all at once when it ripens, and they don’t all ripen together. That wouldn’t be good for commercial grower but for backyard growers like us, I like having a few get ripe every day for 2-3 weeks. Just a nice tree with good fruit.
The next 3 photos are pics of 3 different blueberries out of the 9 varieties I grow. I’m trying to show the different phases they are in. This is one of the few things I have done well…I’ve managed to select my blueberries (mostly rabbiteye but not all) in such a way that I literally have blueberries coming in from First week of June through mid August. I love that so much. Usually its just one bush at a time, but that’s enough to help me make blueberry breakfast items all summer long.
4 year old Flavor Grenade fruiting for the first time! Yes, I’m taking a big risk on that one overloaded limb, but to be honest I probably needed to prune it back several feet anyway, so I figure it it broke its not the end of the world. Plus the tip already made it to the ground and in many cases that takes enough weight off to keep it from breaking. And yes, I did thin the tree a LOT…even if you can’t tell!
This is one of my favorite little plums. Its called Morris. I say little because its 7 years old but only about 4.5 feet tall. But its a HUGE producer and fruit is WONDERFUL tasting.
I should have put something in this photo for scale because you really can’t tell how big these are. THey are about 6.5 feet tall and bushy as can be. I have a row here of 12 Chicago Hardy Fig Trees. Some years they do die back to the ground (I’d say about 1 in 3 years) but this year they did not so they will get up to about 8.5 feet by end of summer and very delicious. I grow 6 varieties of figs but Chicago Hardy is probably my favorite. My only problem is that in recent years my figs get some kind of small back bugs with hard shells that crawl inside as soon as the eye opens and they ruin the fruit. ??? I’ve never sprayed figs before but this year I might,
SO, there isn’t much to see in this photo but its meaningful to me because this is my version of the “Franken-pear”. I had a dreaded bradford pear right on the edge of my orchard/front yard. So I cut it down and started grafting to it over time. It now has 6 fruiting varieties on a callery rootstock.
8 year old Snow Queen Nectarine. I’m not a fan. The fruit don’t size up much no matter how much you thin. One year frost killed all but about 10 nects on the whole tree and they still weren’t big at all. Taste isn’t that great either… I know most of the Snow series have good reputation, but this one isn’t very good. Also, you will notice that early in its life it got off to a bad start and grew very lopsided. I’ve been trying to get growth on the other side for years and just now am having some luck. I should cut this guy
Ahhhh…now we are talking! The pic below is of my 9 year old Spring Satin Pluot. I cannot say enough good things about this tree and its fruit. Almost everyone who tastes them go CRAZY for them. As someone who values sweetness over almost every other flavor nuance, this is the fruit for me. Also, their dark purple color REALLY makes them stand out on the tree and everyone comments on how beautiful this tree with ripe fruit looks- see for yourself below. Strangely, some years they have a fuzzy texture similar to a peach (but shorter and finer hairs) and other years they are smooth. Go figure? I also love that these come in really early each year (mid June here in TN)
This one below is one of my younger Saijo trees. It’s on 4th leaf and actually has a few fruit set- though past experience tell me they will likely drop this year. By now most of you are sick of hearing me talk about this fruit, so for the sake of everyone new and old I’ll simply say this is my favorite fruit in my entire orchard and I love it so much that I’ve planted “one more” for 3 years in a row for a total of 4. I have very few other duplicates in my whole orchard so having 4 of these tells you a lot. They are THE BEST!!!
Below is a 4th leaf Harvester peach. I’ve never got fruit from it so I’ll let you know later what I think!
Shown next is another of my favorite stone fruits. Its called a Karla Rose Nectarine. This one is quite small for a 7 year old tree, but it only gets 1/2 day sun and I find that cuts tree size and production at LEAST in half. But this girl produces very heavy each year, the fruit are always large and sweet and good. Just a great little tree!
Below are 2 photos of my Santa Rosa Plum. It, too, is a bit small for its 6-7 year old age, and I’ve never got fruit off it before. It has an interesting history…I literally saw it in a throw-away pile with lots of dead trees at a local nursery. I saw some signs of life and asked the owner if I could have it and he said sure. (I was also buying trees). It struggled for 2 years and then came out of it but has been slow growing and slower fruiting. BUT it appears this is the year. Its like saving a dog from the shelter…I feel good about it! ha.
Next below is a beautiful, healthy tree and I wish you could see the fruit better, because it is the famous “Donut peach”. Whether its a Saturn or other I’ll never know- it was a big box store tree that simple said “White donut peach”. But they are amazing. I’d never tasted one until this one fruitedl. I always figured they were just average tasting peaches but the shape made them famous. NOT TRUE! Forget about the cute unique shape- grow these for their amazing white peach taste. I grow 3 other varieties of white peaches but this one is the best BY FAR. They also ripen fairly early (July 1 here in TN) and produce crazy large crops. ALso, tree was VERY fast growing. This one is 6 years old and is large as many peach trees twice that old. Look close and you can see the little donuts! Its hard to tell from the photo, but this tree actually is a nice open center shape and only about 6 ft tall at high points. So its classically trained and shaped.
These next two are of an oddly named white nectarine available only from Gurney’s as far as I know. (I’ve seen it listed elsewhere but never available). Its called Yum Yum. I have a few white nectarines- some shown above- but over all this is my favorite. The tree is very precocious . I got a couple fruit on YEAR TWO and several on year 3! THey come in early (late june) and taste great. They are on the small size but not to the point of being a problem.
I wish i had a better photo of the next one, but you can tell its pretty loaded. Its called Blacktail Mountain J. Plum. It looks like the center isn’t pruned out but it is. In spite of it being loaded, I’m not sure I’ll get any fruit. I say that because its a 7 year old tree and has had plums every year the last few years, but always drops every last one before they get ripe. We all know plums drop a lot, but this one drops ALL. No idea why. It isn’t from insect damage. I can[t explain it. But they’ve mad it longer this year and there are more fruit than ever, so maybe this is my year. The plums are clearly going to be HUGE- my biggest. They are already my largest plum and aren’t even starting to ripen yet.
Below is a single limb from a plum called Sweet Rush. I bought it at walmart and have never seen a single word about “sweet rush” plum anywhere I’ve searched. It is supposed to be a yellow plumb, but who really knows. I’m sorry I didn’t get a photo of the whole tree but it is all loaded - though I thinned most of it much heavier than this limb. Its a 6 year old tree but never produced at all before this year…when it is producing like mad!
The shot below is another one that only shows a section of a tree, but I wish I knew what kind of plum it is! I bought it to be a blue Damson but it doesn’t have a blue color that I see in most photos of damson plums. Its a very small plum. But supper sweet and good. One of my favorites. But I’m almost sure its not damson based on it being really sweet and not blue. They are pretty much ripe in the photo, and even when totally ripe they just turn the purple color you already see. I am fairly confident that they are Euro, but I can’t even say that for certain. It was a super slow growing tree and leaves look a bit like my other euros, but again, not exactly. So its a total mystery. Any ideas?
Below here is a photo of some peaches on a SEEDLING tree that is fruiting for first time. All I know for sure is that the seed came from an Indian Free tree and they look like Indian Free but I don’t know the polinator or whether these will actually make decent fruit. Its my first of 2 seedling peaches that are fruiting this year for fi8rst time. I’m excited to see how it turns out. I think (THINK) I read somewhere that Indian Free and Indian Cling tend to grow truer to seed than other peaches, but I may only be wishing I read that?
Below is one of my Montmorency Cherries