Monday, July 26, 2021

The New Orchard

As part of our farm garden project, we fenced in some land for an small orchard. It was formerly a buffer strip of land next to Cook Creek which is not even a trickle of water right now and only a small trickle during wet times of the year. We found bought three trees at a nursery outside our normal range of travel but definitely much cheaper than our local nursery and stuck them in the ground earlier this spring with hopes of getting more when the nurseries started putting end of the year discounts on them. This spring they looked so good and they have looked pretty good until the last several weeks which saw several torrential rains. Above is how we found them on an early morning visit to the farm and I'm guessing two have definitely succumbed to the excess moisture.

Above is the sour cherry tree which only has two discolored leaves that aren't fully brown.

Above is a plumcot that has a few green leaves still. I'm hopeful that it might have enough of a chance to pull through it things go better during the last half of the year.

This is the other plumcot tree and it looks like a goner. Of all the nursery bought trees, these three represent the only ones I have ever lost so I hope it is just a fluke. I think they came with a one year guarantee where we might get 50% of our money back but I have to find the paperwork and see if it is even worth the cost of gas to drive up there and back just to claim.

As depressing as it is to lose all the trees in the nursery, we haven't given up yet and while strolling through our local nursery using up some coupons they give us all year round only to be used in July before they close out their fiscal year, we ran across four pear trees that were marked 50% off. Since it would be four days before I could get a chance to go down to the farm, I didn't buy them that day and went back the night before I was going to the farm. There were still three left and since there was only two more days before the fiscal year ended, I negotiated them for 75% off. The next morning we were up at 4 a.m. and with the trees in tow, headed to the farm where I planted them as dawn greeted us. Being cheap, I stole the support stakes and rubber tie downs from the three dying/dead trees and staked these down. We are now a week from out last rain so the soil was nice to work with. There is no more rain in our forecast and since this is typically our dry part of the year, I now will probably have to water them myself the rest of the year but at least I can hopefully control that more than mother nature and they will survive.


 One more look at the makings of our orchard with the dead and the new trees with the rising sun in the background.

26 comments:

  1. You can't say it's for lack of effort. Good on you for negotiating for your latest, and good luck with them.

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  2. Good for you for not giving up Ed, I think back to my childhood on our farm where we picked (more like picked up) apples, peaches, grapes, blackberries--those fruits & berries just grew naturally on their own with no help from us. I didn't realize fruits could be so hard to grow.

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    1. Fruits are about like any crop. They can get diseases, late frosts, bugs, etc. that put a damper on the crop but my hope is every once in awhile we get a good crop and preserve them for the future.

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  3. Wow, that hacker (best hacker in the world) has been busy. Put that same thing in comments on two of my entries this morning.

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    1. Fortunately they don't do it very often so I just delete them when I find them. I also have the setting turned on so if the post is more than five days old, it requires my permission before it gets published. That helps a lot.

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  4. That is a pretty spot for an orchard. In my experience...don't leave the supports on very long...a tree grows stronger roots when it can move a bit with the wind.

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    1. I usually take them off after a growing season. These were so tall, about eight or nine feet and only came in a pot about eight inches in diameter and maybe a foot deep so I didn't want to chance them blowing over until the roots are established.

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  5. We've fought everything from vandals (kids on ATVs) to birds/critters to Mother Nature, but persistence pays off. I hope the new batch does well!

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    1. Our hope is to plant enough for all to get some. We'll see if that works out.

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  6. Some areas are too wet, some are too dry. Here, we have gypsy moths stripping trees.

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    1. Fortunately we don't have those... yet, but we have our fair share of invasive species just the same.

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  7. Your last photo is beautiful in spite of the dead trees. (harder to see in the picture) John is correct that some places are too wet and others in drought. We are the latter.

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    1. Hopefully things will turn around here. It has been dry for a couple weeks so I'll probably have to water them every week for awhile.

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  8. My experience with trees is roughly 50/50. But they're definitely worth the effort and repeated plantings. The ones that do make it will be nice and hardy.

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    1. Mine is probably 29/30, well including these three now 29/33. But I've had to fence them in to protect them against deer or I would probably be looking at 0/33.

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  9. You're just trying to make me feel better about my asparagus, aren't you? ;)

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  10. I admire your tenacity. My tree experience is definitely on the "Nature wins more than I do" side.

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    1. Perhaps my run of good fortune with trees is over.

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  11. How very disappointing Ed. The location looks perfect so why did those trees die? I am looking at the thick mulch around the base of those trees and wondering what is in it? Let us hope that the new pear trees thrive.

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    1. It is just bagged mulch sold by the nursery and is supposed to be 100% woodchips but of unknown species. It is graded by color. I bought it because it was their cheapest and have used it many times before successfully. But I can't rule out the mulch even if I suspect the rain.

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  12. Good luck on your new trees! I am not having much of that with recently planted avocado trees. 2 have lost their leaves and then died. Searching on Google took me to several "experts" and 2 of them were excellent. Avocado trees get sunburn during the summer - who knew that? - and need to be planted slightly ABOVE ground so the roots close to the surface get moisture and then dryness. Hopefully for me, the third one is the charm, as my son-in-law loves avocado.

    I love mangoes. I think I will plant one smack in the middle of our back yard and let it grow enormous so it blocks out the massive monster house that totally took away our view.

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    1. I have planted avocado pits that have sprouted before but none have ever made it to tree status. Mostly it is because I don't know what I'm doing and they wouldn't survive a winter here outside and don't grow well inside.

      One of the things I most enjoy when I go "home" to the Philippines is seeing all the things thriving that I would never see here, including mango trees.

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  13. I really enjoyed that last photo, Ed. I hope you have better luck with these trees. I am not sure if anything we planted is going to make it this year. Too much heat, too much smoke and water restrictions seem to be right around the corner.

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  14. I hope your orchard quickly picks up steam. We had several apple trees we planted which grew well, but then found the apples were full of bugs. We learned that you have to spray them with some kind of insecticide. sigh.. We gave up and let the squirrels have them. On the other hand, my neighbor did nothing for their bartlet pears and they did great.

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