Talk to me about fruit trees ...

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THAT Gurl

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apple trees are weak,, they need protection from our strong winds,,or they will get torn apart..

I'm reading that about a lot of trees. Is backyard privacy fencing enough protection or do you think I should just plan on running a 2-rail fence next to the row of trees to tie them to??

Like this wire support he is using on these figs ... But wooden ...

 

HillsideDesolate

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I want to plant some fruit trees this fall but all the info I am finding is just confusing me more. 🤦🤦🤦

Any advice when it comes to varieties that do well in Oklahoma ... 🤷🤷 Based on what I learned at beekeeping class yesterday, these trees will be really good for them. I'd also like varieties that I can stagger the blooming on (makes for a steadier food source for the bees, and makes harvesting/putting up a little easier too).

9 to 12 trees, depending on how I need to space them out, along with a row of blackberry shrubs along the chicken and rabbit pen fencing (so they can all nibble through the fence for treats) and a strawberry plot up by the patio (and another larger bed in the front) and a couple of beehives, three at the absolute most, depends on how productive they are, should pretty much fill up the backyard.

Grumpy would like peaches ... I'm more inclined to go with apples ... So maybe both?? Lol

I wish @Timmy59 would stick his head back in the door. 😢 I miss him ...

Anyway ... I have 3 raised beds laid out in an east/west orientation. Do I need to change that to north/south??

I'm thinking maybe a row of 3 or 4 apple trees, a row of 3 or 4 peach trees, and a row of 3 or 4 cherry trees. There is a guy on YT who has planted standard sized trees and keeps them pruned to 6 to 8 feet tall. I'll have to go find his channel name -- don't recall off the top of my head. OR maybe 3 of each of those and 3 pear trees??!?!?!? I seriously do not know what to do except I know I'm gonna have to prune and I need to watch my varieties to make sure I have the appropriate cross-pollinators ...

Ugh ... Now you see why I'm asking for help ... I need to get the trees in the ground this fall so I can get a nuc this coming spring.

I do have a lot of help with the heavy-lifting stuff. Thank goodness. I really feel like once it's in and established that the maintenance won't be overwhelming. As much as I'd like an acreage it is turning out that this little plot of land is just about the perfect size for me to play around on.

Anyway ... Thanks in advance for any advice, attagirls, "OMG you're nuts! Don't do all that you'll never get it done"s ... Sometimes the harshest criticisms turn out to be the very thing that clicks the light on for me and I figure out a way that would have never occurred to me otherwise. 🤷 Yep, I'm weird that way. 😁😁 Ok ... Ready ... Set ... SPAM ME!! 🤗😋😋🤗🤗
https://extension.okstate.edu/fact-sheets/home-fruit-planting-guide.html
https://extension.okstate.edu/topics/plants-and-animals/crops/fruits-and-tree-nuts/
Dont worry about getting the trees started before the bees, you are looking at 3-4 years after planting for your first fruit. Even if they did bloom it would be long before your nuc gets here. you actually want to pick off any fruit that forms the first few so the tree puts its energy to roots not fruit

Agree on standard or semi dwarf root stock. dwarf trees are dwarfed because the root stock doesn't make roots. Standard root stocks ensure a good root system. To keep trees small prune new growth in summer, larger branches in dotmancy. The general rule is horizontal growth good, vertical growth bad. The fruiting hormone does not like to go up, if that makes sense, horizontal do downwards branches will produce more fruit. Pruning vertical growth to under 1 inch can establish next years fruit spurs. Different varieties of trees do better with different pruning styles. I highly recommend espallier, virtually all modern commercial fruit orchards are a ewSpalliered, it increases production and reduces labor when time to pick. OSU should have recommendations for rootstocks. Plums and peaches can also grow on their own roots instead of grafting, both are semi dwarfs naturally

Sweet Cherries are a no go In Ok, they can't tolerate the weather. I have heard of some success with Stella which is also self fruiting and a natural dwarf.

Apples and pears have a longer maturity time than other fruit, look for varieties proven locally and disease resistant. The red cedars carry both pear and apple rust fungus. I would suggest varieties on OSUs sheet or other nearby states. you want " southern varieties" that can deal with our increased solar exposure, remember that we are south of Los Angeles sunlight wise. I'm growing Arkansas Black,(no fruit yet) but its triploid meaning it won't pollinate other trees so you need 3 variety for fruit. Apples are not true to seed and have a huge amount to genetic variation, apples from seed generally fall into about 5% good 20% edible 25% edible when cooked and 50% cider and a one in a million Chance you got the next granny smith and are now a multi millionaire. fruit is gonna be about a decade out from seed. Commercially new seedling varieties are tested out by grafting to an existing tree to speed production.

Peaches are probably the best variety of fruit for oklahoma, they do so well here that they naturalise. Next best is plums. I put in European plums in spring and they are growing. My Japanese plums shipped from WA and GA respectively both sprouted and died, may be our soil, but I will try again. North central Japan is actually close to OK climate wise. American and Chickasaw Plums are both native to OK and do great here, mine were seedlings from a landrace rather than named varieties.

Fruit trees do not like to be started in full sun. Think about a Forrest and how young trees are shaded by the canopy. Plant young trees with a fast growing nitrogen fixing "nurse tree" that will be cut down and munched when no longer needed. . fast growing nitrogen fixers will also help you learn how to prune with no penalty for screw ups and multiple chances a year. You will also.leave a few of your nitrogen fixers around after your fruit trees mature or use nitrogen fixing shrupb. Also plant white clover as a ground cover in your orchard area.

Another trick with fruit trees is to stagger your harvest so everything doesn't ripen at once, there are early, mid and late varieties so you can have a continued harvest throughout the summer, they also overlap bloom times for polination.
 

HillsideDesolate

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In the mean time I recommend reading Masonuku Fukuoka's one straw revolution. Sepp Holtzer's Permaculture for orchard management and philosophical inspiration. As I have told people when speaking about patients "my hobby is growing trees" Toby Hemingway's Gaia's Garden is also a good reference for home sale projects and nitrogen fixing and dynamic accumulation plant varieties
 

OHJEEZE

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Most fruit tree seeds do not set true to the variety they came from.

Example:

1000 seeds from a Gala apple, planted and raised till each tree fruits has the potential to become 1000 new varieties!

True to variety fruit trees are either grafted or propagated by rooting cuttings!

I missed the post ⬆️ by @HillsideDesolate
 

THAT Gurl

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Bought a apple tree from Walmart had little apples on it. They dried up . This was 10years ago . Have apples on it l First time in ten years.

Well one of the guys that spoke yesterday was talking about how much better trees were for pollinators than flowers, but it never occurred to me to ask why that was. 🤷 Maybe I should just plant one kind of fruit TREE and plant the other 2 rows in bushes -- like blackberry or blueberry?? At this point I figure I have about 6-8 weeks of mental masturbation to go through before I have to buckle down, make some choices and spend some money. You guys have given me a lot to consider so far.
 

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