What's Happening in the Fall of 2017


Thought I’d post some pics of our fruit trees after I weeded and re-mulched them. Any comments/suggestions are appreciated. All the trees were planted in April 2016, unless otherwise noted. I apologize for some of the trees being hard to see, it’s difficult to get a clean shot of some of them.

Roxbury Russet, prob our best grower in this grove, on G30

King David, has put out lots of scaffolds, but still kinda skinny, on M7

Liberty, did fair, lost a few leaves. On G202

Grimes Golden, two trees, both have very nice scaffolds, on G16

Pristine, kinda top heavy, but did much better this year. On M7

Honeycrisp, not very much growth or scaffolds, leaves decimated by J beetles, on G210

Golden Russet, hardly any growth in two years, and dropped most its leaves. A real dog for me, on G222. Might move this tree next spring.

Winecrisp, has a few small scaffolds, also lost all its leaves. A G202, it may have to be moved also.

Goldrush, did OK, but would have liked to see more out of it this year. On G890


OK, some more pics. For height reference, most of the trees are enclosed in a 4ft circular fence. Hope I’m not boring folks with all these pics.

Overall view of the upper orchard, 11 apple, and 2 peach trees, all planted last year.

Redhaven peach, a rather pathetic specimen, not much growth in after two seasons

Coralstar peach, doing better than last year, about 4ft tall, but should be much bigger

The rest of the pics are from the lower orchard, down the hill by the barn, much better soil here, old pasture land.

Pineapple pear, our best grower, over 12ft tall.

Orient pear, it’s lost just about all of its leaves, not good.

Maxine pear, planted this spring

Harrow Sweet pear, also planted this year

Blushingstar white peach, planted in April, not a lot of progress, but OK

Contender peach, planted in April, did pretty well

Macoun apple, planted last year, put on some nice growth this year. On M7

Alkmene, planted this year, on G11

Zestar, planted this year

OK, enough trees, here’s some pics of my three Romance cherry bushes, planted this year as well. As you can see, they have lost about all of their leaves. Mostly to J beetles, and maybe some to dry weather over the last month.

Romeo, not a lot of growth, but it was small when I got it

Juliet, put on very nice growth, but it was a large plant to begin with, with large roots.

Our tiny little Crimson Passion, maybe a foot and a half tall, but it was smaller than that when planted, just a twig.


Really well done! You will be rolling in fruit in no time!


I was at the farmers’ market yesterday and ended up commiserating with one of the local orchardists. We were commiserating that our favorite spritely apples were all so much sweeter with less acid than in a typical year. We couldn’t figure if it was a stretch of cool days followed by record warmth in Sept or the dry weather. But it seems like our weather conditions this year contributed to less tart and sweeter fruit.


Wow a lot of trees! I wish I had the room, probably best I do not! I would have no time for the wife! It’s going to be interesting to watch those fill out that space, and they will!

Planted my garlic today, that time here already!


And the tractor!


How moist/wet is your soil? As you may know peach trees do not like wet soil. Apples tolerate it better than peaches.

When my peach trees were very lagging, I turned to @Olpea for advice. He suggested I gave my peach trees a boost with nitrogen fertilizer like urea in early spring. I did. It really worked. Thanks to @Olpea.

You may want to give your peach trees some urea next spring,


@mrsg47, thanks. I sure hope so! I won’t allow most of the trees to fruit next year, they’re not big enough to support any. But I think our big Winesap and maybe a couple of our real big pears could handle it. That is, if they want to, I know pears can take their time getting going.

@Drew51, yes, it’s a bunch of trees. Almost too many to deal with. It took me three working days to get all them weeded and mulched. I really need to resist the urge to get any more. The real work will start when they finally start producing, with all the spraying and thinning. I might get a couple of cold hardy apricots, but that would be it for trees. I do want to plant more raspberries, since 4 out of 6 that I planted this year didn’t come up. And I think I’d like to try some of those PrimeArk blackberries.

@ltilton, yes, the tractor is back in commission after all the repair work was done back in June. I’ll need to do some bush-hogging with it soon, for one last clean-up of the pasture and other areas.


Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah, the peaches were subjected to some rather wet weather over the last few years. But, they didn’t sit in standing water for any real length of time.

Did you trees look like this before you ferted them? I did not give them any last year when I planted them, as I understood they need to establish their root system the first year. But, others say it’s OK to give them a little boost the first year.

I will say that I gave all the trees (3 apple, 2 pear, 2 peach) I planted this year down by the barn a shot of 10-10-10 about a month afterwards. They put on some good growth this year, but they’re also in better soil.

This year (June?) I gave these two peach trees about a pound of 10-10-10, spread out below these and other trees. They seemed to respond really well, but after a couple months of rainy weather, they seemed to run out of steam, and the leaves started getting that rusty look to them. Plus, some insects got after them, hence their sorry present state. I do have some 27-0-0 that we could use next year. Did you give your trees the fert before they woke up from dormancy? And, did you give them another dose of urea later in the spring or summer?

These two peach trees are highest up on the hill in the upper orchard, and the soil is really acidic according to a soil test done on them this spring. So, I also gave them a dose of lime to help lower the pH some. The Coralstar did a lot better than the Redhaven, but peaches should be a lot bigger than these after two growing seasons. I might move these down to the barn orchard next year where the soil is much richer and less acidic.


Just some random stuff…

Yesterday morning I headed out to

On the way there I noticed a U-pick persimmon orchard in Monticello Florida. The non-astringent “fuyu” cultivars looked great, but the Saijo trees looked terrible. I wonder if it is a herbicide issue. Business seemed good.

When I got back to the farm I noticed a tree ripened Lintong Huo Jing and Rosseyanka. I did a taste comparison. The Rosseyanka had a drier texture, both persimmons were great and extremely sweet. When I say dry it’s not a bad thing, it made the persimmon less watery with a thicker consistency. The Rossenyanka had a creamier flavor, which is odd because there is nearly zero fat in persimmons.


My trees are older 5-6 yrs old. My new peach tree was planted on a berm and does not suffer frequently wet condition. Our soil drains quickly but the quality of aoil is very poor (land fill kind of soil)

Your have so much space to spare. You may want to consider planting on mounds/ berms.

As for fertilizer, peaches respond well to high nitrogen fert. The timing should be in early spring when buds start to push. Just one time is enough. I follow the instructions on a bag re. amount needed.


Subdood-are all your trees grafts that you’ve done by yourself?


Oh no, they’re all nursery grown trees. All 13 trees in the back orchard are from Cummins, along with six apples down by the barn. The rest of the trees in the barn orchard were from various sources, two each from Lowe’s, Wallace Woodstock (WI), PlantMeGreen (FL), Adams County, and Stark Bros.

This is just my second full year growing fruit trees/plants, and I haven’t tried any grafting yet. But, there are some really old apple trees on the farm that I’d like to try grafting onto some rootstocks. Plus, we planted some wild (American) plum this year from a neighbor that I’d like to try grafting some of our peach varieites on. Maybe next year.


This is usually a sign of stress. The tree anticipates it’s about to die and attempts to procreate before it’s gone.


Thanks. I wondered if that could be the case. When I planted that tree 3 years ago it grew like gangbusters. Later that fall after the tree went dormant I moved it to its current location and pruned it back. In '16 it did not grow much at all. I attributed it to planting shock and thought I’d give it another year to see if it settles in. This year it did not put out any new growth. I think I’m going to pull it out and plant something else there.


Big wind yesterday. I tried to let the Hunt Russet hang on but I began to fear part of the tree might be damaged if it stayed with the gusts. Perhaps I was merely skittish. Anyway, I ran out and picked the remaining apple and measured it:

3" tall x 2 3/4" wide; 8 ounces. I haven’t cut into it yet, Maybe in a month.

After a disappointing try with Ashmead’s Kernel, I’ve been waiting for this a long time. Thanks for bearing with my obsession!


What was disappointing about ashmead’s


Phase 2 of new orchard. Goodbye stumps. Dozer tomorrow.


Ashmead’s? At time of purchase, I did not know it was triploid, (when I wanted to grow just a few trees,) that it is tardy to bear, needs laterals to be pruned to initiate spur production, that it tends to bear lightly and seems to have frost-sensitive bloom. I liked the fruit: small, hard, tasty, rather tart.

So far, Hunt seems to be superior for growing. I hope trying the fruit (am waiting a few more weeks) will confirm its value.


I have both, ashmeads on m11 will be 3 years in ground this spring, it has some spurs so ime hoping for fruit next fall. My hunt I just grafted to g41 this spring, so it will be a few years before any fruit on it. I hope you will report on hunt once you’ve tried it.