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Country Discussion Topics
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Orchard question
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Tom A    Posted 03-21-2003 at 05:32:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I started planting my little orchard about 3 years ago now...mix of dwarf and semi-dwarf apples, plums, and peaches. All were at least 2-3 years old when planted, and I've tended them pretty carefully both at planting and since.

So far, I've had one apple. Anybody got a feel for when I'll start to see some return for the hard work and money? I really figured I'd get a few somethings last year, but maybe the drought had an effect?

My Dad always had fruit trees and I remember getting bushels of fruit every year. But his trees were all established by the time I remember them.

Tom A


thurlow    Posted 03-26-2003 at 19:38:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't know what varieties you planted; some apples are self-pollinating; some require other varities as pollinators.....


Tom A    Posted 03-24-2003 at 03:57:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
One thing it isn't is bees--as a beeeeper, I've got lots of honeybees available for pollination. In my case it is blossoms; there just aren't very many. In most cases, they'll actually form tiny apples which will fall off before they ever get more than about golf ball size.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Tom


Fiddler    Posted 03-21-2003 at 20:54:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We have had apple trees for 16 years. Some years we get a good crop and other years we get hardly any. Apple trees in this area, Colo, seem to have two years cycles. one year a good crop and the next very few. This year will be a good year.
We always prune in Feb. and the blooms will start in may. What a glourious site and smell.
Don't expect to much out of your trees the first few years. Just take care of them and watch them grow. The fruit will come.


WallSal55 - IL    Posted 03-21-2003 at 19:37:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Would say I never really start to get the apples in quantity until they are about 5' 6' tall.
I grow Jonathans, so I don't fertilize every year
as I feel the smaller the apple the better the
flavor. However, the apples get so small if you
don't fertilize at all--they are not worth eating, peeling. Bees are very important when the blossoms are out. You may want a beekeeper to
put some hives on your property to aid w/that
especially if you have a full orchard!
A short time after the blossoms fall off--you can go out and count the new apples developing.
Will give you a good clue as to how the pollination went w/the bees.


Ludwig    Posted 03-21-2003 at 11:01:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
You prune in spring or fall?
Dad's got maybe 4 fruit trees, apple and pear. Planted in the late 80's, early 90's. Had exactly the same problem, get a couple fruits but nothing special. I don't remember when Dad pruned, but somebody told him to do it the other way. Now he gets all sorts of fruit. Problem is that the birds know when its ripe, you'll go to bed thinking "Ahh, tomorrow we pick" and then next day the birds and squirrels have attacked overnight and stripped the branches clean.


Robert    Posted 03-21-2003 at 08:06:32       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have no idea's about your trees. but i do live in fruit country. My neighbor has around a thousand acres of mostly apples, and the following year after the new trees are planted they bear fruit. No one here (a real fruit farmer) has real old fruit trees these days, as fruit quality (and quantity) goes down with old trees, so they keep dozeing them out and planting new ones!!
On my own trees, i pick the blosoms off the year after i plant them to promote root growth, and now i have fruit every year the blosoms don't freeze.
Fruit trees DO need a lot of water, and i'm told that the water they recieve this year will determine next years crop.
Are your's blosoming??? Are you spraying your trees?? There's a huge amount of work that goes with fruit trees "if" you want quality fruit!!
I can get an umlimited amount of apples from my apple farmer friends just for going and picking them. So, now that my dad no longer takes care of my trees (i only trim them) i've let my trees go. We now just pick up our low quality apples for deer feed!
Robert


Red Dave    Posted 03-21-2003 at 06:37:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
I planted some dwarf fruit trees where I lived in about 1981 or 82. When I moved from there in 1990, they hadn't started to bear fruit yet.
Last year I drove by and noticed that the people who live there have a nice stand of fruit trees, with fruit on them.
I wonder if they appreciate me?


Randy    Posted 03-21-2003 at 06:08:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Tom, try here
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil-8301.html
Looked like there might be some good info there.


Randy    Posted 03-21-2003 at 05:57:39       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The place where I live here in CT has probably 30 or so apple trees. There are old ones and young ones. The year before last the owner picked bushels and last year maybe a small box full. We were dryer here last year then the year before also. Are they flowering well, lots of bees around?
I know when he buys the small trees he looks at me and says, " these are for Teddy, not for you and me". Meaning we're too old to see the fruit on those, by the time they fruit his son will see them.


RB/CT    Posted 03-21-2003 at 15:27:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have patience. Do you fertilize in the fall with 10/10/10, spray every 7-10 days. Buy quality trees (Stark Bros). Two points, dwarfs have a weak root system, and may have to be staked if in moist soil, and if there spur trees, when pruning don't cut the spurs off. Give them time, and treat them good. some types produce more fruit then others in certain areas. As an example, Granny Smiths are hard to grow. Good luck.


RB/CT    Posted 03-21-2003 at 15:27:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have patience. Do you fertilize in the fall with 10/10/10, spray every 7-10 days. Buy quality trees (Stark Bros). Two points, dwarfs have a weak root system, and may have to be staked if in moist soil, and if there spur trees, when pruning don't cut the spurs off. Give them time, and treat them good. some types produce more fruit then others in certain areas. As an example, Granny Smiths are hard to grow. Good luck.


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