Warmer Weather: Game on!


I hear you. I doubt anything happens here…going to take warm days and warm nights and we still have plenty of frost in the ground (i tried digging today and i hit rock hard soil—frozen–and that was south facing snow free spot)… I actually am glad the models showing reality coming back next week with 30Fs and 40Fs on the way.

64F and sun…

Pruned a big branch off my Aldreman plum (big tree) to make room for some chip buds i placed last summer… potted up my Bay Laurel trees…

Fn Actually, I don’t believe that is necessarily true of roots or tops. Pruning does not generally create a larger tree than a tree not pruned, no matter how you do it. I think peaches and nects can be an exception to this because by pruning you are also reducing cropping (years ago a read a study that confirmed this). Pruning spur wood can also create a net gain, I believe.

It is not quite a controlled study because trees were from different nurseries but I planted 2 peaches and 2 plums from Bay Laurel right next to a bunch of peaches and nectarines from Adams last year and the growth of the Adams trees was significantly better. I didn’t provide any supplementary water, though.

I’ve long noticed that peach trees with a lot of root intact plug in with significantly more vigor. Not that they would if you were putting them in pots. I transplant a lot of larger bare root peach trees and they do better than the ones I produce in Whitcomb in-soil grow bags where you pop up the tree with a lot of soil but lose a lot of root in the process.

I do think there is a big difference between species though. Pears really suffer from butchered roots and their roots are usually butchered with bare root orders from nurseries because they grow straight down. They are also non-fibrous (and yet they transplant well form grow bags). Apples as small trees hardly suffer at all when most of the roots are removed. Peaches are in the middle of the equation.

Didn’t mean to imply that the tree would be bigger. Just that the more a trees top is cut back the stronger the regrowth. So maybe the more roots are cut back the stronger the new roots, if there are new roots.

I imagine that some rootstocks might suffer more from being butchered than others. Just like peach are less likely to sprout from big wood than some other fruits. Some rootstock might be the same way.

My experience is that trees with major roots 6-10 inches long do fine. I haven’t had many with those 2-6 inch stubs and while not ideal I still think that’s doable. Foot long roots requiring a 24 inch hole are a luxury item seldom seen in these parts. And to be honest if I got those trees I’d likely prune the roots some to get the hole under 24 inches.

The 2nd part of my Bay Laurel order arrived today. Some of the trees are the smallest I’ve seen from DW before, with 4 of the 6 in the 9/16" to 11/16" range (along with a 3/4"). In my two past orders, the average was > 15/16", with the smallest 3/4".

I wonder if it is because I ordered so many this time. In the past, I never ordered more than 3. By choosing smaller trees, they were able to fit 6 in the same box that they would have put 3 in, at the larger size. But, I’m actually OK with the size, as anything 5/8" and up is fine with me. Most trees ACN sends seem to be in the 5/8" area and they are great trees.

Today’s box had:

Sprite-Delight 2 in 1 cherry plum on Citation- The rootstock is pretty tall before the grafts, with a single branch for each. The rootstock is 1.25"+, while Sprite’s branch being 5/8" and Delight at 1" (a pretty big branch). You can see it sitting on the top in the pic with a spot of yellow paint.

Monique apricot on Marianna- 11/16", with 5 nice branches

Geo Pride on Citation- 9/16" whip

Elberta on Citation- 11/16" with 4 side branches (2 thick, 2 thin)

Mericrest on Citation- 7/8", with 3 med-small branches

Flavor Grenade on Citation- 5/8" with 5 branches, 1 awkward

i think they trim the roots to get it in that box. Mine was really stuff in there. As long as they grow, I don’t care.

Keep in mind Calif had its worst drought in recorded history last year.

That’s a very good point Matt. I’m sure they irrigate some to get such nice trees, but they probably don’t do it enough to completely offset the drought.

With east coast nurseries drought years produce bigger trees because they irrigate and we get more good growing days. In the West it’s just sun, sun, sun during the growing season.

Now there is something I hadn’t thought about. I wonder if irrigation leads to the same kind of growth as natural rainfall. I know with garden veggies, flowers etc there seems to be no substitute for good ole’ rain. I like the nice slow gentle rains, they seem to really bring everything back to life.
Trees are harder to judge as to their response it seems, as everything is more delayed. I think the uniform wetting of all the soil is probably better than the heavier, artificial wetting of the soil that we deem to be in it’s root zone.

Trees seem to respond very well to irrigation and even my garden will grow more (tomatoes, peppers, kale, etc) with more sun and a higher ratio of water supplied by me. I know what you mean about how things look and feel after rain, but a deep watering is a deep watering IMO and most plants grow less under grey skies and the cool weather that usually accompanies it in spring.

Soil temps are a big issue for rapid spring growth of most plants.

Of course, humidity also helps trees, especially when heat rises above optimum for any given species. If they need close their stomates to remain turgid or conserve water growth pretty much stops.