Plans for 2023

I have two dead trees I need to replace. The funny thing is that my soil is such a pain in the arse to work with (sand/gravel/boulder) that when a tree dies I get a sense of relief at the thought that I can plant something without having to spend half a day digging a hole.


Cool about correcting the TOC collection. How did you discover you have some they don’t? I think their available scion list isn’t their whole collection.

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Just a thought, seeing how dry and aired your climate is, would it be more pron for such fruit trees as figs, pomegranates, and mulberries?

I have some apple trees ordered. I’ve held off planting any apples because I’ve been told they are a waste of time in MD without spraying. But I’m more of a try it and see what happens kind of person so…
On order Antitium Blush, Sundance, Black Oxford, NY-35 and Galarina. Basically I went looking for things with disease resistance.


Plan is to add Sumo to my citrus collection this year. I was also thinking of adding Pixie to my collection, but it turns out I already have a Kishu, but it’s not planted in the good location, I only got one fruit last year. I read here Kishu is better than Pixie.


Murky, you are right. Cvs. newly grafted don’t make the TOC list until big enough to supply scions. I seem to consider apples that most folks don’t look at twice. So I read through the Botner/TOC list pretty carefully every few years when seeking another cultivar to replace one tried here & found wanting.
I also write the President of TOC with direct questions. She & her staff have been very helpful - and kind. (Hey, I’ll write anybody if they might know best the answer to my question: Ben Watson - great book on cider making, John Bunker - poster boy to Fedco, Nigel Deacon - who discovered Mere Pippin and Wickham Pippin, Hans-Joachim Bannier, Ian Sturrock - who realized Bardsey was something new to the greater world in 1998, Dave Benscoter and Skillcult).
Sure wish Tom Burford were still around; got some questions he probably knew the answer to!


Well, Keith, if I had the space you enjoy, and especially a north facing slope, I’d try butter nut and heart nut and maybe some other fruits than apples. I go weak at the knees when I find an interesting & tasty apple. My wife is used to this, among my other faults.
Lord willing, there will be two plums growing out back once Kirke’s Blue arrives in the mail.

Conditions here are so rigorous many apples that look good on paper can’t hack 'em. Some deliver exceptional qualities & the only way I find out is discover them grown already by someone else in Eastern WA or I try them myself. The list of failures over the past 12 years is extensive. Also, I add another factor: no poison sprays. (I know, I know…)

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Plum trees sound like a good alternative to apples but, I completely understand the ( Apple ) perspective, there is so much history and diversity with the beloved apple I guess it’s what attracts us to them.
I’m thinking there is probably enough space in my orchard for another 25 or so trees which should bring the count up to around 150 apple and pear trees to tend to.
Based on my thoughts from when I first laid it out on paper I figured close to around 200 trees but the grade of the land and the hidden boulders in the soil has prevented that many.

Plus you can’t make cider with plums. Plum wine is more of a consolation price :wink:

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appx 1-1/2" diameter

No plans to add apple or pear varieties this year, but I have 52 grafts to complete to fill in empty spots in the orchard rows. I did order 5 cold hardy peach trees (originally 2 bumped to 5) to see how they do (Intrepid, China Pearl, Contender, Redhaven and Carolina Gold). Of course, I haven’t done my winter pruning yet and that could lead to some trades… unless I control myself (unlikely).

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Hopefully, those 52 grafts all take and balance out the voids in the orchard. I have the same thing in a number of areas of my orchard as well. I’m kinda focusing on finishing up the rows and then I’ll fill in those old empty spots too. I have plans of finally doing the Frankentree this coming spring with 8 different cultivars from the Univ. of Minn. apple breeding program.

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Keith, do you have all those varieties for the Frankentree already? I have all but one of them if you need scion, although some of my trees are still small. Let me know if you need scion. I think I’m going to have two rows left by the time I finish planting out the nursery bed. I’m just starting to think about doing those two rows as high density plantings, gotta research it some more.

If Ersinger & Kirke plum produce well in future, I think I will try making wine with them & add some black currant for color & complexity. Worth a try every couple years.

In my orchard and in the Nursery at our house I do have all 8 of those cultivars to work with, the Haralson and the Keepsake will have limited scion wood to work with but, I have faith that there is enough to use on the Frankentree project. I over grafted two well established trees at the house last year over to Cox Orange Pippin and I had hoped to have done the Frankentree as well but I didn’t have the scions ready for the project.

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Yeah. Those peach trees are really scary. (The ‘P’ in PTSD actually stands for PEACH!)


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