What's happening today 2020


Well I’m stumped. Going into year three with a height of 12 feet or so with no cherries on this Compact Stella. Figured this would be the year with all the flowers I saw. Are these guys known for taking a while to produce?


I bought one from Starkbros at my old house 18 years ago. It took five years for it to produce for me.


Mine never produced. Ever. Full of blooms, no fruit.

I think it maybe wasn’t a Stella, not self-fertile.


Well, a care package of fruit around Christmas tide would just about do it. I am holding back on listing those apples grafted this spring until they show life. It’s hard, because this year seems most exciting. We may have to exchange addresses some day & send samples of our labors & dreams.


My friend planted a Stella to help cross pollinate her “Bing” at least 4 years ago. It has flowered but has not set any fruit.

Meanwhile the Bing has set fruit since Stella has flowered and helped cross pollinate Bing.


I hope these will do well for you. I have bought a bunch of pomegranate and olive trees from Rolling River in 2014 when I just started my orchard. They were under previous ownership back then (the family that now owns Fruitwood Nursery if I’m not mistaken). Unfortunately, quite a few turned out to be mislabeled. This year I removed three of Rolling River pomegranate trees and replaced them with the ones I have grown myself from cutting from ARS.


Pull or weight all those branches down and see if they develop fruiting buds next year


My husband trained an asian pear tree last year by weighing down several branches. It didn’t put out any flowers at all this year. I was wondering if weighing it down stressed it.


It definitely should have stressed it which ideally would have encouraged it to flower. It doesnt always work but it helped my bramleys on mm111 and a buddy did it and got fruit 2nd year on most of his fruits (which were plums).


Hummm, that’s interesting that your friend got fruit so early with the training. This particular pear tree had set fruit last year, which was it’s 5th year (I believe), but none this year.


Yeah i was very surprised after seeing it work so well for him i did it to a few things also.

Very strange, maybe it wants more phosphorous and potassium or would it have had its buds frozen off or damaged somehow?


I’ve never seen a currant bush, let alone tasted them fresh. After some research, I ordered a Crandall clove currant from Whitman farms. I read that it should grow well here with some shade. Later, I found one in HomeDepot which I bought and planted both of them close to each other. They bloomed at the tips and the flowers had a really strong clove smell. I see some fruits developing which I usually pinch off in first year plants, but I might leave 1-2 just to sample the flavor.


It is what it is…I have at least 4 apples that didn’t bloom this year, that DID bloom in 2019.
It happens. Especially with young trees.


My understanding is that fruit trees set fruit buds for next year by early summer of this year. When you bend branches is the key. In theory, if your husband did it in the spring of last year, that would help.

However, there is another issue. How well you thinning your pears last year. In my experience, pears, esp. Asian pears tend to go biennial if you let fruit set without sufficient thinning. When I say sufficient, I mean 70-80% thining off of fruitlets. If I don’t, I will have a light crop or no crop the next year depending on the paer varieties.

This has happened to me a few times since I underestimated it or too busy to thin more than a round or two.


good choice! out of all the currants crandall is the most heat tolerant.


Good point, you should actually do it to all your tree’s. For most growers it’s just too time consuming.missformed/ hail damage should be picked ASAP.


Yes, Bob. However, pears and apples tend to suffer from biennialing more than stone fruit. Not thining stone fruit usually results in limb breakage, small fruit or poor quality fruit. Been there, done that and learned from it :grin:


I don’t think it will hurt it to leave those on. Currants are very vigorous plants, in my experience anyways! Clove currant is a super tasty one


I have heard this about the ‘former’ Rolling River. I have no way to check which variety is which. The proof will be in the fruit! Some of the varieties produce very distinct fruit - all their own. So . . . time will tell.
I’d like them to be labeled correctly, of course. But, as long as they eventually produce good fruit . . . that’s OK with me.


So far 24 of my 25 interstem grafts are showing signs of life. M111 roots and either BUD9 or G.41 interstem pieces (~1 foot). They were 1/4" or larger “caliper” and I ended up doing a “whip” graft without tongue on some of them. Too inflexible of wood once they’re that size, at least for me.

The BUD9 and G.41 root parts I potted up and all are growing. The M111 cutoffs I figured what the heck, scratched them a little and added rooting hormone and placed in coconut coir.

The one in the upper left corner you can barely see 2" long roots right at the surface. I’d always heard that rooting apple isn’t easy, but… These were snipped right above the crown and had what appeared to be little root nodes, so I figured my chances were good.

Two Thursdays back we heard a knock at the door a bit before 8AM. A tree trimming service was here to clean up the power/utility lines. Hadn’t been done in at least 7 years and there were a lot of limbs touching. Little did I know they would be in my driveway for 5 full days. 3 boom trucks and 6 men the first day, 2 trucks and 4 men the remaining days. I asked 'em to cut everything up into firewood lengths and leave me the chips. There’s now two piles like in this picture and enough firewood to last us probably a year. [Fairly long driveway but to be fair, they worked for ~10 minutes and took a break for ~30 minutes, unless the boss drove up in his pickup.]

Hopefully more pollenization and fruit set this year compared to last.

A graft of a very thin scion of Roxbury Russett done in July of last year, is not the prettiest graft I’ve ever done, but hey it took…

Last but not least, a few of the wild things around my neck of the woods. All within a few hundred yards of my back door. Helps to maintain sanity in this crazy world we find ourselves in…

Star of Bethlehem



Jack in the Pulpit