How bout editing that to “some diseases”. Canker is one thing, but black knot on plums, scab, fireblight and cedar apple rust on apples, brown rot on peaches… Most of the debilitating diseases of tree fruit in the NE cannot be defeated with nutrition alone and often it has nothing to do with the issue.
No thanks. I stand by my assertion, even amongst those diseases. If you want we can have a dicussion about various soil tests and their suitability, but I figure that is for another thread.
Jon, that’s intriguing. It would be a useful tip if you would pick a disease and tell us how to get rid of it with nutrition
Here is my tip. I put 6’ high cages of woven wire fencing around fruit trees when I plant them to protect them from the deer. As the tree grows, it was a bother to make a larger cage, so some got cramped and misformed by the wire when other family issues took my time. Now I either make a large cage to begin with, or else cut extra fencing and wrap it around in more than one loop so I can expand it later. My original orchard sits on a steep slope, so expanding round cages is not easy. That is why some of the trees didn’t get enlarged cages on time and ended up with cramped branches. I cage each tree, rather than the whole orchard, because on a few occasions the deer have managed to knock over the fence or someone leaves the gate open, and this way the deer can’t wreck the whole orchard if they find a breach. I have found it works about right to cut a 50’ roll of woven wire fencing into two 25’ sections, which will make a 6’x6’ square cage with a foot of overlap for a closure piece. Then I stick a Dymo label on one of the fenceposts, plus make a written map of where each tree is before I leave the orchard. With new posts, you might need to wipe the post with a little rubbing alcohol to get the tape adhesive to stick. Make the labels over winter while awaiting your tree order to arrive so you have them to take along to the orchard. I keep all the supplies in a box or basket, so I don’t leave items home by mistake.
Sure. I will start another thread entitled disease, nutrition and soil testing.
I’ll do it next time I am in front of a computer. Weekends are with family and weekdays I’m in the field… So it may be a week or two, but I’ll make sure to let you know when I have posted it.
I agree with you up to a point but also believe in environmental influences such as rainfall and timing of those environmental factors. @alan is saying and I agree with him that pressure is higher in some locations than others. Good soil nutrition is always important but no more important than good strong disease resistant varieties as an example. We must match the right varieties with the right area. A good example is last year I grew kieffer pears spray free Kieffer Pear. I can’t grow all pears spray free because some are more resistant than others. Those problems I have are largely due to my location. There is very little perfect soil admittedly in any location. We all have the same goals to reduce or eliminate sprays and improve soils for better quality food for us to eat.
You don’t solve most disease issues much less SWD via nutrition. If it were that easy do you think commercial growers in humid areas would be spraying some fruits 20-30 times a yr? Basically he’s calling the other professional growers and all the university personnel that help growers manage disease and insect pests incompetent.
White plastic plant tags are everlasting ph strips. Scuff the plastic a little so that water does not bead up and dip or drip your test liquid then one drop of liquid indicator.
I always keep a roll of the hot-pink/orange surveyors tape (the non-sticky stuff you see tied to trees marking property lines) in my grafting tool box. Its a great way to mark the location of a graft on a larger tree, especially after you’ve removed the grafting tape/covering, etc and graft is growing out. But there is another great reason to have a roll of surveyor tape on hand. I love to use it as a first layer to help bind whip and omega-whip grafts together. It is just stretchy enough that if you wrap it pretty tight it will contract and hold the two pieces being grafted together very firmly. ANd because it isn’t sticky, it makes it easy to remove later. I overwrap it with electrical or other grafting tape, but mostly just to keep it from unwrapping since it isn’t sticky. I have and use parafilm, but many times I find it too delicate and when I’m trying to wrap a union tight parafilm often breaks. Of course, the surveyors tape must be removed at some point and parafilm alone may not.
Anyway, point is I find surveyors tape useful- both for marking graft locations and for wrapping and holding grafts together. Maybe you will too.
I may try some of that surveyor’s tape to mark the few fruit that appear on my Pineapple Guavas.The fruit and leaves are so close in color,size and shape,they are difficult to locate,even after seeing them the day before. Brady
If you want to avoid disease and insect pressure, just don’t try growing varieties that didn’t evolve in your climate with its specific pest complex- of course that won’t stop some pests from hitchhiking a freighter from China or about anywhere else on the globe and the native pests whose nourishment relies on fruit from healthy “well nourished” trees such as plum curculio on amelanchier fruit.
The native fruits in my region have far fewer pest problems than the wonderful species I choose to grow. Sure, I love my blueberries, and raspberries and blackberries are useful fruit, but harvesting tree ripened nectarines, peaches and plums is even more important to me as are apples.
Most of the issues involved with growing the fruit we love cannot be combatted with the correct balance of nutrients and the proposition is an entirely mythological construct unless it involves some revolutionary new system unknown outside of Jon’s community.
Faith based beliefs are held just as strongly(or more so) as science based ones. This is quite the double edged sword. If you come to this forum with sweeping statements that contradict the science of growing fruit, please be prepared to defend your faith.
I agree Alan until the perfect plants come a long or the diseases and insects go away we will continue to spray what we need to and no more than we have to. Alternatively I could eat only kieffers and though I enjoy them that is not my only goal. I enjoy peaches , cherries , apples and many other pears etc. and those cannot be grown here without some sprays.
And I’m a fan of your methods and attitude. Keep trying to find the right varieties for your location and we will all benefit from your successes.
Great idea. Thanks
A healthy plant is better able to fight off disease just like a healthy human.
But being the healthiest still can’t save you if you get hit by lighning or a train or one ounce of lead traveling at 1500ft per second.
Some diseases- health has nothing to do with fighting FB, or black knot, or CAR or scab or mildew, or…
Health will help a tree survive some diseases but not always help save a crop. Vigor makes it possible for trees to close off wounds more quickly and provides stored energy in the wood so if foliage is destroyed a tree has better reserves to regrow its canopy. Often death is the result of energy depletion and vigor is both a sign and producer of a good fat energy bank account.
The great horticulturist, Carl Whitcomb, has written about “thrifty” plants surviving transplant well and the term applies a good supply of energy reserves as a result of good vigor before transplanting.
A vigorous tree heals grafts very well also and I’ve gotten 4-5’ of growth in the first year of grafts on really vigorous, mature apple trees.
FB, CAR, BLACK KNOT ETC. are the lightning, train, lead I was talking about.
Once in awhile I get that super vigorous scion that outgrows its rootstock. I always wonder what makes their genetics so much better than everything else. Formerly I thought it was a hidden virus causing some trees to grow better than others. There was a time when I thought it was triplods vs diploid genetics responsible. I’ve came back to the conclusion there are times I don’t know why some plants are healthier than others. If we can ever pinpoint the reason why one tree thrives in the same location another dies we will be closer to having the answers we all want.
My tip is one most are probably aware of, and really only applies to us northern folks, but reminders never hurt. Cover the ground around fruit trees with a thick layer of mulch late fall after the ground is well frozen. Having, say, a foot of leaves or straw or wood chips on the frozen ground makes a huge difference in how long it takes to thaw and warm in the spring vs. bare ground and can delay bloom by weeks. Last year my pear trees had no mulch around them and got going about the same time as my asian plums. This year I was more careful to mulch them well, the plums are waking up and swelling while the pears are still tight and quite dormant. Bonus tip, never give a kid in a swim diaper a piggyback ride. . . . trust me.
Great tip. Plums in my area also suffer from early blooming. Great bonus tip. My grands are visiting Wednesday. Bill