Mine are way past bloom down here.. I have apples near 2\" in diameter now and lots of peaches and plums this year too.
It is going to be a sweet summer.
Question for you... Pears.
I love em, eating fresh and we also make pear preserves (love that stuff).
I know you are a Apple man, but just wondering if you grow pears too.
I have (or had) 2 pear trees in my small orchard, they last a few years and then when blooming good get the dang fire blight and kick the bucket eventually. Right now I have one tree left and one that died of FB and has been removed.
I don't like the hard gritty pears, prefer the soothe softer kind. But it seems that the ones I really like, just do not hold up to the FB.
Just wondering if you had any suggestions on a good eating pear, not gritty, that has shown good resistance to FB. If I can find someting like that I will plant one or two next spring.
Holy cow Maya,
This looks like it's way more than a hobby. Is this what you do for a living?
P.S. educate me here please. How does it work planting the apple trees close together? Do you transplant some or thin them out when they get bigger' Really interesting stuff.
Ya it's more than a hobby Latt. I am a mailman, and will retire in 4 years. This will be my retirement job. Right now I'm working 60-80 hours per week doing both, but this is something I really enjoy, like seng hunting.
This orchard is called a \"tall spindle\" high density orchard. They produce between 1000-1200 bushel per acre as opposed to old fashion orchards with full sized trees which put out around 350 - 500 bushel per acre. Virtually every orchard today is going over to some type of high density planting as they are much more efficient per acre and are far easier to care for once they are established.
High density orchards do have a higher start up cost, but you start getting a return on investment in one year as opposed to 3-10 years with trees grown on semi - dwarf or full sized trees.
Tall spindle is a 3' x 11' planting of dwarf apple trees. I buy them \"feathered\" (trees with small branches). These trees if trained properly produce apples in one year. Branches are manipulated downward below 90 degrees at planting. This keeps branches small and also stimulates them to fruit early. I have around 1300 trees in this orchard on less than an acre and a half.
Here's a pic of branch manipulation on 1st year trees.....
TN, good questions. No I do not grow pears for just the reason you spelled out. Fireblight! Most orchards will not do both. They are a more serious disease for pears than apples. Unless you are willing to spray religiously with copper and streptomycin sprays, don't bother. Also read up on \"psylla control\" in pears.
I do however have a few asian pears which are FB resistant. For novice growing apples I do recommend growing one of the many disease resistant trees available nowadays. Pristine, Enterprise, Liberty, Galarina just to name a few. This will make the job much easier. Depending on the tree they may have resistance against diseases such as fire blight, scab, powdery mildew and more.
Another pic from the orchards today. Orange belted bumblebee on Galarina blossoms.