Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Apple, Fig, Peach and Nectarine trees

'Bare Root' Fruit Trees
Here's a sneak peek of our new fruit trees.  Lots of people ask me, do you have a lot of space?  No, I don't.  So, what am I doing with 6 new trees.  Well, guess what?  I've already got 5 fruit trees.  Meyer lemon, produces like crazy, twice a year.  It's not only dwarf, but a bush.  You can barely see it behind the table in the back of the picture.  There's another one way in the back there too.  Just to the left of the concrete.  It's a pear.  Along with those 2, there are 2 more cherries up top, along with a apricot, and down below, a plum.  At least 3 of the new ones will go down below.

So what's new?
Apples:  Gravenstien , Fuji, Dorsett
Peach, Nectarine, Fig

What can I tell you about them?
- Arctic Star White Nectarine  Earliest to ripen.   Rave reviews in trial tastings.  Ripens mid June.  Low winter chilling requirement, about 300 hours.  Self-fruitful.

- White Genoa Fig  Old variety, a favorite in cool coastal areas.  Also excellent inland.  Prune to any shape.  100 hours, Self-fruitful.  Greenish yellow skin, amber flesh, distinctive flavor.

- Fuji - From Japan, California's favorite.  Ripe mid September.  Excellent pollenizer for other apples.  Less than 500 hours chilling requirement.

- Bonita Peach - An excellent peach which bears well in milder and coastal climates.
Medium to large, Elberta type peach. Red blushed skin. Yellow flesh, fine flavor. Freestone.
Ripens: Late July. Requires 250 hours of chilling below 45º F.

- Gravenstein Apple - Large fruit.  Skin bright green with red striped skin. Crisp and juicy. Keeps well, good for shipping.  A cooking and eating apple.  Needs pollination with any self-fertile variety such as Jonathan, Red or Yellow Delicious. Requires 700 hours chilling below 45degF.

- Dorsett Golden Apple Medium to large. Yellow skin with orange-red blush. Firm, smooth, crisp flesh with sweet-tart flavor.  Does well in mild winter areas.  Good pollinizer for the Anna. Requires 250 hours of chill below 45EF. Ripens: Mid-June to Early July.

Jib Jab
A few things to keep in mind when you get fruit trees.  I went to Half Moon Bay Nurseries.  They are huge.  Awesome product, and selection.  Great help.  Very knowledgeable.  Maybe a bit expensive.

- How to pick a Nursery
Big selection, knowledgeable, helpful staff.  HMB Nursery passes bigtime in both categories.

- How to pick a tree
First, what do you want?  Where do you put it?  What conditions does it like?  The good news is, pretty much everything they sell is specific to the area.  They don't sell it if it doesn't grow well here.  Having said that, I still wanted to ask.  HMB climate is significantly different than mine, for example.  That said, here's the next consideration.  When does it fruit?

I tried to pick varieties where I would fill up the summer and fall with fruit.  Not sure how well I did.  I know I have summer and fall harvest, so we will see.

How much do they fruit?
I wanted a lot.  I think most of those I purchased meet that requirement, but not 100% sure.  I also wanted super tasty fruit, more than anything.  Again, I think I have that.  I wonder a tiny bit about the fig.  He's a green one.  I am sure he will be good.

Dwarf or not?
I asked the guy we were working with.  He sounded like he had about 100 trees at his farm.  Basically, he said, you can trim any of them to be any size you want.  Nuf said.  He explained, I would need about a 4-5 foot radius on each trunk for space.  Okay, not too bad!  He also said he tops all his trees, so he can pick without a ladder.  So, dwarf is nice, but not necessary if you don't mind trimming.

How to pick from the stock?
He picked for us.  Essentially he looked for something, I forget the name, but, you want a tree with branches evenly distributed radially, in particular, every 120 degrees.  They will fill out best.

What about planting?
Dig a hole twice the size of the tree container.  Fill with good dirt, and the container dirt.  Water and firm up in soil.  Trim extra branches.  He suggested a bunch get cut.  I know, first thought is don't.  I am going to try it though.

Watering?  Trimming?
Do not water for a month after the initial water.  He said why, I forget.  After that, once a month is best.  Less after a year or two.  They may grow without, but water will help.  Trim in winter.  Now, Feb/March is a good time to do it.  Cut off extra branches.  Keep to the 120 degrees.

Cutting instructions
cutting instructions
cutting instructions

Ellie and fruit trees

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