What's Happening Today - 2019 Edition


That is some huge hail. I lost 90% of my fruit this year to a very late freeze, so if it makes you feel any better you are not alone in your misery.


So sorry to hear that. Hails and late freeze often cause so much damage.


It comes with the territory. Good news is we got a 1 1/2 inches of rain. The trees have great vigor so there is always next year


That looks horrible! Hope everyone at your house is safe. Could be dangerous being outside with hail that big falling.


I was sweating that coming through here. Our area didn’t have a lot of storm but north of us and south of us got hit pretty hard. I think I would have to cry…and it’s still the season…


That’s the old west Texas spirit. We’ll take any kind of moisture even hail…!!

I’m sorry about your losses. I lived in Amarillo for 30 yrs so I know all about it. I’ve lost two rounds of watermelons so far this yr. Even the pea size hail takes out small melons. If they’re marked up they split and spoil as they get near ripe. Apples will take a lot more and still produce. But I’ve seen huge gouges out of full size apples.

The big hail I saw this week near here was baseball size.


My wife (not me!) wanted to go to Rural King this afternoon after she got home from work, so I agreed to drive. When we got there I made a beeline to the plants and trees, to see if any fruit trees/bushes were still there. To my surprise, I saw this:

Hanska plumcot, haven’t really heard of it. Did some research on it, it was developed in the US over 100 years ago, a cross between a wild plum and Chinese apricot, it’s supposed to be very tasty. Anyone on here growing this or tried some of the fruit?

Potted blueberries, they had Earliblue (?) and Bluecrop, at $12 each. Also had potted Arapaho blackberry.

And, tart cherry bushes, mostly Juliet, one or two Carmine Jewel. They are huge, over 4ft tall and growing well in their pots. I would have probably pulled the trigger if they weren’t still $32. If they go on sale, I’m there.

I didn’t buy anything, but was tempted. But even if I did, the cherry bushes wouldn’t have fit in the car. Unless, I put it in the back seat and put a seatbelt on it. Hmm.


Hanska is not a plumcot. According to Hedrick, it’s P. americana x P. simonii. P. simonii is sometimes called “apricot plum”, but it’s not an apricot, it’s a type of plum, and was used extensively by Luther Burbank in his plum breeding. In particular, the famous Santa Rosa plum has some P. simonii ancestry.

Hanska is among multiple P. americana hybrids developed by N. E. Hansen at the South Dakota Experiment Station. These include Hanska, Kaga, Kahinta, Pembina, Tecumseh, Toka and Waneta. (BTW, Hansen was also the one who brought to the US the Dolgo crab apple and the Niedzwetzkyana red-fleshed apple.)

Hanska was offered at some point by Fedco and Grandpa’s nurseries. Grandpa’s describes it as “great for canning”, which usually translates as “not too great for fresh eating”, but I have no personal experience to corroborate or contradict this.


Every time I see that phrase I also associate it with not a good fresh eater.


Was finally able to spend 1 1/2 hours last night in orchard. Did some thinning. My m7 apples planted at same time with m111. M7 has twice as many apples if not more than m111. First Grimes golden and then Hudson’s golden gem.
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Time to thin and bag them.


@tonyOmahaz5 I’ll try it this year. I have some ziplock bags. Should be able to do it on Monday. Think there to big?


Not too big but too many per cluster. Most I leave would be 3 but usually 2 or 1 per cluster.

I don’t have many apples this year but I still get each cluster down to 2.

I just finished thinning pears ( first round). Almost all down to 2 or 1 or as needed, take the whole clusters out.


I took this before I thinned. I have one a cluster and about 6 inches apart. If I left two I made sure they didn’t have any for like 8 inches around. First year that I’m getting anything but one or two. Planted in 2015


Great. I like bagging. It is therapeutic to me. It also gives me a good feeling that I can get these apples without any more chemicals from this point on. I’ve bagged in thousands, but not this year. They all go biennial :unamused:


I just started bagging today, and my biennial Gala is going to get severely thinned. Last year it yielded 0 fruits.

It’s a tedious task, but then it’s over for the year until harvest, with no sprays

I did spray my Stanley plum today - all the PCs will be taking up station in it. Unless maybe the cold killed them? [I can hope]


Thanks. I didn’t get it, but was surprised to see it at the place. What I had read about it was that it was a pretty good tasting plum, but no matter. We already have three pluots, planted last year, so no fruit at least this year.

We transplanted a wild plum two years ago, and it has fruit on it, though. Last year’s crop was hit hard by PC, so this year I"ve kept the Surround on it, and it seems to be doing a pretty good job. Fruits are about olive sized now.


Took a quick walk through the orchard this morning between rain events. Should get my first taste of Scarlet Crush this year. I’m curious how early they will be considering they have HC and PL parentage. I would think on the later end but they are sizing up well with some early apples Zestar and Williams Pride. There are only 4 or 5 apples on the main tree but another couple growing on a graft.


On Friday a storm went through and this happened.

It was my neighbor’s tree… But now mine. Thankfully mostly missed the house, just clipping a gutter and sliding down the corner. Once the tree is gone I can get a better look for any damage to the masonry. It missed the gas meter by about 10 inches, so that could have been exciting!

Landed on the currents and gooseberries in my rain garden and the pear and apple trees I planted along my entry, plus some peppers, eggplants and lots of flowers. There will be some survivors, but some are definitely toast. Here is where one apple snapped in the interstem section.

The graft held so I must have done a good job! The top section looks different since it is wet and the bottom was under some fallen branches so was dry.

The trees were all from bench grafts I did five years ago and there was fruit on every tree. The few that look like they will survive are ones I tasted last year. The oak tree seemed to be aiming for those I never tried, lol.

Silver lining=much more sun for plants in that side of the house. And of course that it mostly missed the house!


Well I have a few cherries left and although banged up the apricots, peaches and apples held on.