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CrazyED
01-21-2010, 11:32 AM
Hi All, I am planning to put in a small apple orchard and looking for advice to make sure I do it right the first time and position myself to have success. I’ve tried to read a lot of threads on this board and capture some of those techniques to be successful. The main purpose of this orchard is to provide an additional food source for wildlife on our 160 acre property in central Wisconsin. I want to have a mix of both Crab and Apple Trees. On our property we have a mix of big old growth Oak forest with dense areas of jack/Norway/white pine stands for bedding as well as a few larger stands NWSG. One area in particular of about 20-30 acres was leveled by a tornado 15 years ago and we have been working on cleaning this up for years and have been adding in different areas of habitat. I plan to build the orchard in this tornado area. We are in zone 4B.

Here’s kind of what I’m thinking, and I’m looking for help making sure I do things in the best, most practical order. Right now the site of this orchard is open and the ground is covered in mostly thick savannah type grass. I plan to roundup the whole thing to kill off the grass. After one or two good blasts of roundup I can disk the whole area up. Then roundup again as needed. Then test PH, and lime as needed. Ideal PH that I should shoot for is mid 6's? Not sure if I’ll be able to get that with my sandy soil but I guess I’ll test and see how it looks and go from there, try to improve it the best I can

I have purchased (25) Zumi and (25) siberian crab apples from Cold Stream Farms, 1-2’ root stock. I plan to nurse them at least a year and see how big they get. This gives us time to prepare the orchard plot. We also plan to build a high fence around the plot to keep the deer out because we have a very healthy heard and my guess is they will destroy these trees if not fenced. We already own an electric/solar powered fence that we used for growing plots of wild flowers, but typically we only ran that from april to august, I’m not sure how this will work through the winter season and heavy snow. So we might just have to do a high wire fence like Maya had pictured in one of the threads. Anyone have any thoughts about this?

As for apple trees. I have been looking at the disease resistant varieties such as Liberty, Enterprise and Goldrush. I like the idea of each of these species delivering crop at a different time throughout the fall. I’ve heard that mixing crabs as a pollinator type tree with apples can be good? I was thinking of doing the whole orchard as 25 trees basically 5 rows of 5 (square) , mixing the crabs with the apples with trees planted 10’ apart. 6 would be apples (2 of each species) and the rest would be zumi’s or Siberian crabs, mixed amongst each other. I’m planning to order the apples from Adams County Nursery, hopefully targeting to plant in the spring of 2011 or maybe even 2012 or 2013. Once all trees are planted I might add a light dusting of little bluestem throughout the orchard floor. I've also thought about screening the whole perimeter with switchgrass and / or white pine or a combination of the two, this however is long term.

I guess I’m still a little sure about the whole rootstock thing with apple trees, as far as what I need for my area (zone 4B). I want something hearty that will hopefully survive the deer and the climate. It seems gravel or mulch around the base is the way to keep weeds down. Window screening should be used to keep the mice and what not away. Mowing regularly in this orchard to help keep weeds down and insects away from the tree. And I’ll really need to do some reading on pruning and spraying, especially with these little rootstocks I’m getting from cold stream this spring. I saw something about limb spreaders that I need to do more investigating about as well.

So this is my plan. What are the problems with it, what should I look out for, what can I do better. I have planted thousands of pine trees and NWSG’s but I’ve never planted or cared for a fruit tree in my life and I’m looking for some help to make sure I do this right. Am I crazy?

Thanks for all of the information on this wonderful site. I apologize if all of this has been covered but I guess i'm looking for help that applies specifically to my situation. Thanks again!

smsmith
01-21-2010, 11:34 AM
You're not in the Big Flats area by any chance are you?

CrazyED
01-21-2010, 11:36 AM
Marquette County

smsmith
01-21-2010, 12:03 PM
Okay, when I heard tornado and 15 years ago I thought of Big Flats in Adams Cty.

I plot and plant in central Juneau Cty. If anything our soil there is even lighter than yours. You can grow fruit trees there, but it will require quite a bit of attention. As far as being zone 5 - I don't know. It gets downright cold in those central counties of Adams, Marquette, and Juneau. Some of the lowest elevations in the state there, that cold air sinks right in. I'd check the USDA zone map instead - the Arbor Day map has been adjusted due to "global warming" (seriously).

The Siberian crabs should do well for you. I haven't tried Zumi so I have no direct experience there. Siberians have a fibrous root system, something that is very important in those light soils. When you get grafted varieties look for them on b118, m111, m106 or antonovka (my preference would be in that order) rootstocks. You want something that is very fibrous to hold and gather nutrients in light soils.

You will definitely need to protect the trees from deer and gnawing rodents. It doesn't matter if you go with a group or individual enclosure; make sure you protect the individual trees' trunks for at least the first 5 years.

Sounds to me like you have a good plan. Just be prepared, once you start with fruit trees it gets to be addictive - and expensive.

CrazyED
01-21-2010, 12:34 PM
Ok i checked the other map it looks more like 4B.

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-nm1.html

In looking at some of the notes i had taken while researching rootstock I had documented MM.106 as a possibility so at least with what you're saying I was pretty close on that.

We are planning to fence the whole thing and not individual trees.

Thanks for your feedback it is appreciated!

smsmith
01-21-2010, 01:00 PM
Ok i checked the other map it looks more like 4B.




Yeah, even the USDA zone map is full of bleep sometimes too. My folks' place in Juneau Cty. is listed as being on the border of 4a/4b - lowest temp of -30.

Last year they had almost a week of -40 temps. Most every year they hit -30 a number of times. The zone maps are good for an overall look at things, but there are obviously micro-climates within those zones. If you are on relatively higher ground than your surrounding areas, then your zone is probably close to being accurate. If you're lower, then maybe not. Proximity to water also has a role.

If you go with trees rated to zone 3 you'll be fine. Most varieties rated to zone 4 will be okay too. I've decided to err on the side of caution up there. Here in Dane Cty. I can grow a lot of stuff that gets zapped up there.

CrazyED
01-21-2010, 01:13 PM
Is there a good website that shows which apple trees do well in which particular zone?

smsmith
01-21-2010, 01:26 PM
Is there a good website that shows which apple trees do well in which particular zone?

here's a few info. sites. some better than others.


http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A3565.pdf

http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A3561.pdf

http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A2105.pdf

Fedco does a good job of rating trees by zones
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees.htm

St. Lawrence specializes in northern hardy trees (all on antonovka rootstocks though)
http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/

http://www.bighorsecreekfarm.com/Master.htm

http://www.applejournal.com/useall08.htm

http://www.allaboutapples.com/varieties/index.htm

Forgot a couple:
http://www.edibleforestnursery.com/ROOTSTOCKS_TEXT.HTM

http://www.edibleforestnursery.com/SOILINFO.HTM

http://www.edibleforestnursery.com/PRECOCITY.HTML

http://www.edibleforestnursery.com/VARIETY%20descriptions.htm

CrazyED
01-21-2010, 01:30 PM
Just what i'm looking for. Thanks again for all of the information you've provided so far. I do appreciate this!

smsmith
01-21-2010, 02:21 PM
No sweat, glad I had a few bits of info. to share.

The guys who can really answer questions re: fruit trees are Bnhpr (Ben), Appleman and maya. All great souces of information and much more experience /knowledge than I have. They all grow apples in northern areas as well, so they can be great resources for you.

First thing to do this spring would be to get the soil tested just as you stated. Get the ph amended and add some organic matter if at all possible. You can indeed bring the ph up to mid 6's. You can do it pretty quickly too. I'm guessing your soil will be somewhere in the 5's, maybe lower if you have peat bogs. I'd go with a mix of both pell. lime for quicker action and powder lime for longevity.

You and your deer will be eating apples in a couple of years.

One more - a WI company:
http://www.maplevalleyorchards.com/Pages/ScionWood.aspx

innova
01-21-2010, 08:25 PM
Bud.118 is my choice - zone 4a/3b here.

As for varieties - I'd suggest contacting a local orchard and asking what grows well. Maybe they'll give you some scion wood and you can graft your own trees for a cost of $1-$2.50 each.

You could even graft to the siberian crabs after a few years.

Don't forget pear trees! I'd have both. Pears may be more reliable bearers and less wildlife issues.

smsmith
01-21-2010, 08:29 PM
Don't forget pear trees! I'd have both. Pears may be more reliable bearers and less wildlife issues.

Yep, pear trees are a good addition. I do think the grafted ones tend to like a little heavier soil (on average) than do grafted apples. They are tough trees for sure. I've been experimenting with pears on their own roots for a couple years. Not supposed to be all that great for human consumption, but I don't think the critters will mind gritty pears. Guess we'll find out.......

Tree Spud
01-22-2010, 08:37 AM
CrazyEd ... I am also in Marquette Cty. I have had so so luck with apple trees; however, there are probably some things I need to do different using hind sight. As mentioned, there are some guys who are apple experts here. Check some of the earlier threads.

I have had good luck with Siberian Crabs. I have also put in Mandshurica Crabs (malus baccata). In year 4-5 they were 9-10' tall and I was getting crab apples already. On many of them as the root system was large as they were 2t transpalnts so I put them in with a post hole digger.

I also started putting in Dolgo crabs last year and was very pleased with their 1st year effort. They have a larger fruit around 1.5" and are supposed to be very desireable to deer.

The other tree you may want to consider is American Plum.

Make sure you use 5' tubes to protect them though. I learned the hard way that on shorter tubes the deer will browse the lower branches and split the tree by pulling them down.

sandbur
01-22-2010, 09:16 AM
I'm on the lighter soils of central Minnesota with lower pH's. I would consider the dolgos and chestnut crabs. You maybe able to get doglo's on own root from you SWCD district. We can in our county. Zone 3 for me.

I have some grafted apples planted for the deer, but am now leaning more to crabs. I suspect they may do better in cases where you cannot give as much care. Plant a variety in all cases.

I am trying to establish two thickets that are planted as an enclosure with wild plums in the middle and a ring of crab apples that I have grown from seed around the outer edge.

I simply rolled out a whole roll of cement wire in an egg shape and then used fence post with it. Both were in old pasture situations. One deer did get into the enclosure last summer. Jumped in and out and bent the fence. I needed more psots.

Use roundup, mulch, lime and fertilzier as above. I know little about rootstocks, but have been just using native or naturallized crabs for a seed source and I will see what I get. I have a fair number of seed apples that are producing and are each individually fenced at this point.

If you are on light soils, whic I expect from your description of the Norway pines and jack pines, I would connsider dipping bare root trees in the gel type water holding compounds such as Watersorb.

smsmith
01-22-2010, 09:37 AM
Tree Spud - glad to hear your baccatta's are doing well. I put a bunch in last year and did nothing to amend the soil. They were healthy going into winter.

sandbur- do you plant your chestnuts and dolgos without amending the soil (beside the water absorbing polymer)?

CrazyED
01-22-2010, 10:07 AM
Make sure you use 5' tubes to protect them though. I learned the hard way that on shorter tubes the deer will browse the lower branches and split the tree by pulling them down.

Where do you recommend buying tree tubes, any particular ones you would recommend?

Also, am i following this right that you nursed your crab apples until they were 9-10' high and then you transplanted them out and just put a tree tube around them and so far so good?

CrazyED
01-22-2010, 12:04 PM
What about adding a pear tree or two? Does anyone have a recommendation for what variety to look at for this area?

smsmith
01-22-2010, 12:06 PM
http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A2072.pdf

St. Lawrence nursery also has a section on pears - tell which are northern hardy.

http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/pears.html

CrazyED
01-22-2010, 12:13 PM
Awesomeness! Thanks yet again smsmith! You rock!

Tree Spud
01-22-2010, 12:27 PM
I use the Tree Pro vented tree tube and buy through the National Wild Turkey federation, see link below;

http://turkeyshoppe.nwtf.org/p-1034-xcellerator-vented-tube.aspx

Some here prefer the mesh style protectors.

I plant the seedlings directly into the ground and tube them. I would hate to spend a year or two nursing them in pots only to find out there are transplant or soil issues.

James P. Bipps
01-23-2010, 10:52 AM
" I was thinking of doing the whole orchard as 25 trees basically 5 rows of 5 (square) , mixing the crabs with the apples with trees planted 10í apart. 6 would be apples (2 of each species) and the rest would be zumiís or Siberian crabs, mixed amongst each other. " (CrazyEd)





I am doing something very similar. I have 25 Zumi and 25 Siberian crabapples, as well as Dolgo and Transcendent growing in my garden. I will transplant in a year or two. I do question your spacing of the trees at 10 feet. How did you come up with this? It seems too close. Anyone have an answer to an optimal spacing for the trees mentioned in a 50 foot by 50 foot enclosure? My latest thought was to go with 16 trees or 4 rows of 4 @ 17 foot spacing.


JPB

CrazyED
01-23-2010, 12:22 PM
Yeah I have been re-thinking the spacing because most of these trees do get large. I guess i was trying to get as many tree's as possible without fencing in my entire 160 acres =]. You are defintely correct that 10' is probably too small. I'd like to hear what the experts think, and i suppose it depends a lot on what type of trees I get. I saw the picture in this thread by Bnhpr. Although maybe this is where the trees are nursed and not the actual orchard?

http://www.qdmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=30247&page=2

As you see the rows are spaced further apart than the trees in each row....

Again i'm new to this so if i'm doing something wrong or there is a better way, experts PLEASE step up and set me straight.

sandbur
01-23-2010, 12:52 PM
smsmith-I planted about 30 Manchurian flowering crabs from the SWCD about 17 years ago. These were baccatta. All have 3/8 inch fruit that is OK for the birds, but not much deer use. However, I found one tree this summer on the end of the row with 1 inch yellow crab apples and lots of deer sign under the tree. The crabs drop somewhat late besides. Maybe tis will my next seed tree. Anyway, these trees were just planted and fenced. I tried to use my better soils or else planted the trees along the "seam" betweeen light sand and the edge of the swamp. All of them did well.

At the same time I planted about 10 grafted trees-5 in my home orchard that got some care and the other five for the deer. These were Chestnut, dolgo, Northwest greening, and one other variety that just died this summer. Nothing was added to the soil on these and they did OK with a few apples. When I started putting fruit tree spikes by them they started to produce many more apples. Some apples grown from seed have responded the same on this soil. The seed apples were from trees that my wife's family have grown from seed for generations so hopefully the apples are adapted to our environment. I would add some pel lime around them if it was not so far from my house and across a swamp to get to them.

I did not plant apples in what I call blow sand. Hard to explain, but if you have it, you know what I am talking about. The ground with no topsoil,and a pH in the 4.5's. This ground seems to only grow red cedar, an occasional bur oak, and maybe jack pine. I did plant some of the Manchurian along the seam between this ground and the swamp and they did OK.

My more recent apple plantings have been mostly crabs-some grafted and some on own root. Thanks to ben, I have learned a lot. I add what ever I can find or scavenge to the planting hole. Nurtipaks, pel lime, gel that holds mositure, chicken manure/bedding that has been composted awhile,left over potting soil from my wife's flowers from last summer. She buys the potting soil that has the mositure additive in it.

Control the weeds and mulch the trees. They are growing much faster with what I have learned.

Last spring, I carried a small bag of pel lime in my pocket when I carried in the fruit spikes. I pounded the fruit tree spike into the ground and put a small handful of pel lime on top of the spike. I wonder if this pel lime would not keep the fertilzier from the fruit spike more available. Perhaps the experts could tell me if this works or not. Could I get the pH too high in the immediate environment of the spike?

I tend to like the crab apples on own root. I suspect they can get by with less care and maybe on more marginal soils if they are adapted to your area. Once they do get bigger, they do respond to fruit spikes or chicken manure/bedding mixed with some pel lime.

smsmith
01-23-2010, 04:16 PM
sandbur-thanks for the detailed explanation. Sounds to me like we are doing some similar stuff on similar soils. You're about 5-8 years ahead of me though I think.

CrazyEd - spacing is going to be based on what rootstock(s) you use and how much pruning you intend to do.

CrazyED
01-23-2010, 06:11 PM
Lets talk about water. How critical is this if you are planting a 1-2' rootstock? How critical is it if you are planting 4-5'ers from say adams county nursery(i think thats what they send)? I mean i realize that obviously water will always help and make the tree grow faster. What if i can only water like 10 gallon/tree per month or something. I mean the place we are planting is 160 acre parcel and there isnt a garden hose within a mile or so nor do i live on this property. How much of a problem is that going to be? I plan to use a lot of mulch to help hold moisture.

smsmith
01-23-2010, 07:41 PM
This is what I do re: watering.

When you plant each tree use at least 50 lbs. (100 would be better) humus or composted manure as part of your backfill. I also dig the planting holes at least 8" deeper than necessary. By doing this, you can leave a sizeable depression all the way around the tree. That depression helps in gathering and focusing moisture onto the rootzone. Make sure you set aside the top 3-4" of topsoil when digging the hole. That will be your best soil and make sure you incorporate that into the rootzone before adding the lighter sand (if you use enough compost/humus you won't need too much of the lighter soil).

Another key component of the backfill is some water absorbing polymer. I add 1/2 to 1 cup (doesn't sound like much, but it is quite a bit) of dry powder polymer (I use watersorb but any of them should work as well) to the backfill. I also throw in a few handfuls of milorganite. Any organic based fertilizer is okay, just don't put it directly on the roots. I wouldn't use any synthetic fertilizer until the second year.

After backfilling the holes I line them with a layer of newspaper-I shoot for about a 6 sheet thick layer. On top of the newspaper I use a very high quality landscape cloth and landscape staples (get good ones or you won't be able to drive them thru the landscape cloth and newspaper - I use a rubber mallet). I make 2, 3'x3' sections of the cloth, cut a small 3"-6" slit in each at the center point. The slit allows for an overlap at the base of the tree. By using high quality landscape cloth you don't have to mulch. The stuff I use can be exposed to UV for 5-7 years before breaking down. I don't like to mulch because I've found it encourages weed and grass seeds to sprout. Using gravel like Ben suggests would be great - I've just found that the extra weight of the gravel isn't "doable". I scatter my trees throughout the woods in groups of 2-4. Carrrying that much gravel around just isn't practical for that setting.

Using this process I have lost only 1 tree. I provide no supplemental water. Obviously, if you can give them some in the dry periods it sure would help.

One thing I have considered is some of the "tree gator" type watering systems. At around $15-$20 a tree it is a little prohibitive. A "poor man's" option would be to use several 5 gallon buckets with very small holes drilled in the bottom. Fill them up when you can. They will also gather any rain that falls and help to concentrate that moisture into the root zone.

maya
01-24-2010, 07:33 AM
Tree spud, how long do you keep those tubes on the trees, and how do you train your trees with them? Do you start you first scafold at 5'?

Crazy I go 18' spacing on B118 & mm111. What size trees are you planting? Seedlings, whips or caliper size?

sandbur
01-24-2010, 08:45 AM
smsmith-Does the newspaper and landscape fabirc attract many mice, or does you 1/4 inch mesh around the tree keep them away?

I also use the depression around trees to hold water when planting in lighter soil. If you are planting in heavier soils or close to a swamp, you may not want to do this.

I do not use the large amounts of water sorb that sm uses, but it sounds like a good idea. If I use a nutripack at planting it is kept well away from the roots. I often add it a year or two later.

CrazyED
01-24-2010, 11:09 AM
Crazy I go 18' spacing on B118 & mm111. What size trees are you planting? Seedlings, whips or caliper size?

Maya, well so far I have only ordered 25 siberian crabs and 25 zumi crabs from coldstream farms. These are all 1-2'ers that I plan to nurse those and get my orchard "plot" worked up for planting next spring. For apples, I havent totally decided on what i'm going to buy yet. I'm going to get something good for Zone 3 and I have been looking at Adams County Nursery and St .Lawrence Nursery. smsmith had recommended i look at b118, m111, m106 so thats what i plan to do. I'd like to get something disease resistent and i'd like a variety of up to 3 different trees that have fruit that comes at different parts of the season. I am open to suggestions so if you have a recommendation about any of this I'd love to hear it. I'm trying to plan accordingly to do this right the first time. Thanks!

smsmith
01-24-2010, 11:48 AM
sandbur- I have not any issues with mice/voles and using the landscape cloth/newspaper. If anything, I'd say that it has decreased that type of destruction. The stuff ends up being "nailed" down pretty tight when I'm done. By completely eliminating all vegetation in a 3'x4' or so area around each tree it keeps the little buggers away (at least it seems so in my experience). Before I used this method I used cheap landscape cloth and recycled shredded construction lumber mulch. I had more damage using that method of moisture control. I do use window screening at least 24" (preferably more like 32") up the trunk (maya's method). One word of caution re: the depression around the base of the trunk - when you do this it drops the elevation of the tree (duh). By doing that it makes a higher portion of the trunk susceptible to rodent damage during the winter. When the snows come and fill in that depression, it is easier for critters to get to a higher portion of the trunk. Hence my desire for a higher application of the window screening.

CrazyEd - if maya suggests different rootstocks than I did - take his advice ;)

Just wanted to add something re: the water absorbing polymer. If you plan to use the stuff, but it in bulk. Don't buy it from your local home/garden center. I generally use the powder form for trees/shrubs. I do that mainly because I have it on hand for making a root dipping slurry anyway. I failed to mention that step. I ALWAYS dip every shrub/tree/bush/etc. in a thick slurry of the stuff. I am 100% convinced that it makes a very real difference.

CrazyED
01-24-2010, 04:56 PM
Excellent this is all fantastic information. Maya would you have a recommendation on where/what I should buy for apple trees for my hunting property in zone 3-4 central wisconsin?

I am thinking since my plot on our 160 acres will not be ready until next spring for planting, i do have the opportunity to do a very small test run at homeat home. I'd like to order 3 trees so i could plant them in my yard this spring, kind of as a pilot. 2 apple and 1 pear. Maybe not identical species - at home i'd like something more useful for baking/cider, but at least i can hopefully I can use this sample as a small test run. This way i could get familar with the maintenance required, pruning, watering, and the planting steps themselves and all the materials required.


My coldstream farms 1-2' root stocks are already ordered, the zumi's and sibearians. Those i'm going to nurse in my garden the first year. How is 6" spacing on these until they are 3-4' tall?

maya
01-25-2010, 07:11 AM
Excellent this is all fantastic information. Maya would you have a recommendation on where/what I should buy for apple trees for my hunting property in zone 3-4 central wisconsin?

I am thinking since my plot on our 160 acres will not be ready until next spring for planting, i do have the opportunity to do a very small test run at homeat home. I'd like to order 3 trees so i could plant them in my yard this spring, kind of as a pilot. 2 apple and 1 pear. Maybe not identical species - at home i'd like something more useful for baking/cider, but at least i can hopefully I can use this sample as a small test run. This way i could get familar with the maintenance required, pruning, watering, and the planting steps themselves and all the materials required.


My coldstream farms 1-2' root stocks are already ordered, the zumi's and sibearians. Those i'm going to nurse in my garden the first year. How is 6" spacing on these until they are 3-4' tall?

I'd go w/ what SM said. With these rootstocks you will get bigger trees that can handle the cold of your harsh winters . Great for wildlife. Also if you go w/ disease resistant variety they will require less work.

smsmith
01-25-2010, 09:50 AM
CrazyEd-I wouldn't space them that close. At that distance I'd think the roots could become "co-mingled" which would make removing them safely and without damage more difficult. Personally, I'd want at least 1' and more likely 2'.

Good luck with your home tree experiment. Should be fun and enlightening.

maya made a very important point - focus on getting disease resistant trees.

CrazyED
01-25-2010, 09:58 AM
And what does everyone think about the best place to buy these trees. I'm looking at St. Lawrence Nursery or Adams County Nursery? Does anyone have any experience with either of these places or is there another nursery I should consider?

smsmith
01-25-2010, 10:12 AM
And what does everyone think about the best place to buy these trees. I'm looking at St. Lawrence Nursery or Adams County Nursery? Does anyone have any experience with either of these places or is there another nursery I should consider?

You'll get lots of positives for ACN.

I'd order a lot of trees from St. Lawrence if they had trees on different rootstocks. All apples they graft are on Antonovka. Very hardy rootstock and would do okay in your light soil. The issue is that the trees will take quite a bit longer to bear fruit than if they were on b118 or m111.

The majority of my fruit trees have come from Lawyer Nursery. I've also ordered fruit trees from Cummins Nursery, Burnt Ridge Nursery, Raintree Nursery, Morse Nursery, Jung's Nursery, and ACN.

I have nothing bad to say about any of them.

CrazyED
01-25-2010, 10:24 AM
Awesome, for my "home project" I'm going to go with non-disease resistant varieties to keep my fiance happy. Just because we want to eat them and she loves to bake so I just let her pick the varieties for these. "Up North" I'm definitely going to get some DR varieties but this a start.

I think I am going to go with a Honeycrisp on B118 and a Cortland on EMLA 26 from Adams County Nursery.

Now I just need to find a good eating pear tree for home. Then i'll have to go through the supplies checklist and get all that crap after I place my tree order.

This is good stuff! Thanks to all for the help and great information.

maya
01-25-2010, 05:58 PM
Awesome, for my "home project" I'm going to go with non-disease resistant varieties to keep my fiance happy. Just because we want to eat them and she loves to bake so I just let her pick the varieties for these. "Up North" I'm definitely going to get some DR varieties but this a start.

I think I am going to go with a Honeycrisp on B118 and a Cortland on EMLA 26 from Adams County Nursery.

Now I just need to find a good eating pear tree for home. Then i'll have to go through the supplies checklist and get all that crap after I place my tree order.

This is good stuff! Thanks to all for the help and great information.

I love Honey Crisp but they are not very disease resistant. Did you talk to them on the phone? Many trees are sold out by now. Also for what it's worth get whatever you decide on feathered if you can or as large a caliper size possible. It's worth the couple extra bucks. They are usually nicely trained and will get you off to a good start, but again it's late but ask and see what they have.

Bnhpr
01-26-2010, 06:24 PM
Yeah I have been re-thinking the spacing because most of these trees do get large. I guess i was trying to get as many tree's as possible without fencing in my entire 160 acres =]. You are defintely correct that 10' is probably too small. I'd like to hear what the experts think, and i suppose it depends a lot on what type of trees I get. I saw the picture in this thread by Bnhpr. Although maybe this is where the trees are nursed and not the actual orchard?

http://www.qdmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=30247&page=2

As you see the rows are spaced further apart than the trees in each row....

Again i'm new to this so if i'm doing something wrong or there is a better way, experts PLEASE step up and set me straight.

Ed, your spacing depends on your rootstock, because the rootstock determines the final size of the tree.

For full size trees, 16-20 feet is minimum spacing between trees and rows.

For M7, G30 and other mid size roots, 10-12 feet between trees and 15' between rows.

When considering distance between rows, and trees, consider you tractor/mowing etc. size.

The trees in my pic are dwarf, and the particular spacing is 4' between trees and 12' between rows.

For bud 118, I'd recommend 14'-18' fetween rows and trees...minimum, also considering vigor of the variety, or if it is spur, tip bearing etc.

Ben

CrazyED
01-26-2010, 06:46 PM
Thank you Ben!

Tree Spud
01-26-2010, 09:58 PM
"Tree spud, how long do you keep those tubes on the trees, and how do you train your trees with them? Do you start you first scafold at 5'?"

Maya ... I let the trees get out and above the top of the tube to start to form a small canopy. I then start to prune the lowest braches to form the base on the canopy. In some cases I have started to trim the tube down 6-12" to allow the tree room to grow and access to pruning any branches forming lower.

Be aware that you may need to add more holes in the tube so that it can vent and harden the trunk.

On some of the true apple trees (non-crab), I have put them in 5' fencing.

No expert at this ... learning as I go.

Bnhpr
01-26-2010, 10:03 PM
And what does everyone think about the best place to buy these trees. I'm looking at St. Lawrence Nursery or Adams County Nursery? Does anyone have any experience with either of these places or is there another nursery I should consider?

Cummins nursery. Good service good trees, and well packaged for shipping.

Ask for Alan...

Ben

lassig
01-27-2010, 09:43 AM
Century farms orchards (http://www.centuryfarmorchards.com/) Had good luck with them. Also a nice pruning video

CrazyED
01-27-2010, 10:26 AM
Cummins nursery. Good service good trees, and well packaged for shipping.

Ask for Alan...

Ben

I dropped them an email to get some availability and pricing from cummins. I picked out 2 apple and 1 pear for at home and then i'm going to get one apple for the farm. That way I can dable this year a little bit, and as I prepare for a bigger "orchard" next year.

CrazyED
01-29-2010, 09:58 AM
Alright, well I just ordered my first 4 apple trees from Cummins Nursery.

A pair for at Home:
(1) Cortland/Bud.9
(1) HoneyCrisp/Bud.118

A pair for the hunting property
(1) Enterprise/MM.111
(1) Goldrush/MM.111

This is essentially my pilot. 2 trees at home that I can monitor pretty much all the time and 2 that I can put on my property and hopefully protect them with treetubes or small cages. I will probably put together a detailed plan of execution for planting and verify with you guys in here that i have all my basis covered. Then once these are in the ground, I can hopefully prep the ground for the site of a larger mini orchard of 15-30 trees.

smsmith
01-29-2010, 10:03 AM
Alright, well I just ordered my first 4 apple trees from Cummins Nursery.

A pair for at Home:
(1) Cortland/Bud.9
(1) HoneyCrisp/Bud.118

A pair for the hunting property
(1) Enterprise/MM.111
(1) Goldrush/MM.111

This is essentially my pilot. 2 trees at home that I can monitor pretty much all the time and 2 that I can put on my property and hopefully protect them with treetubes or small cages. I will probably put together a detailed plan of execution for planting and verify with you guys in here that i have all my basis covered. Then once these are in the ground, I can hopefully prep the ground for the site of a larger mini orchard of 15-30 trees.

That's a good start. One word of caution - tree tubes are not the way to go with your hunting trees. Do it right the first time - if you are going to do individual exclosures on these trees use 5' or 6' welded or woven wire. If you buy a 50 ft. roll of the stuff you'll get enough for 3 cages. Roll out about 16.5' of the stuff and cut it using a wire cutter. That will give you a cage about 5.5' in diameter. That will easily protect your trees for several years.

If you will eventually have these trees in a group exclosure, then you can use a much smaller cage for the first year. Either way, I would not recommend tree tubes.

Also, make sure you protect the trunks with screen or hardware cloth quickly. Don't plant one weekend and do the cloth (or the cages) the next. Deer and other critters find those trees quickly. Must be like sugar cubes for them

CrazyED
01-29-2010, 10:13 AM
Gotcha! I can do that no problem. Cages it will have to be then! When i asked Jim Cummins about a recommended tree tube, he just replied back with "We strongly recommend tree tubes"

What about tree tubes for the 1-2' crabapple rootstocks I have coming from Coldstream?


This video my dad sent me kind of sparked up my interest in tree tubes.

http://winkelman.com/video.php?mov=os0915f

Here are the tree tubes they used on the winkleman show. Look real good - but i'm no expert. Looks like for 50 trees its going to cost $220 ish for 5' stakes, shelters, ties, and songbird covers. The matting i think i could do cheaper myself or just use mulch/gravel.

http://www.plantra.com/buynow/bntube_stake.php

smsmith
01-29-2010, 12:20 PM
Crabapples on their own roots I will do with tree tubes. Right now I use the rigid mesh tubes for them rather than the solid/vented ones due to cost. I just have had bad luck with mildew, ants, wasps, etc. while using tubes on grafted trees.

I'd say that if someone here with more expertise than I have would recommend tubes, go with it. I just will not do it on a valuable grafted tree.

Tree Spud
01-29-2010, 02:48 PM
I agree with the welded wire caging for the apple trees. Make sure you use the metal fence stakes for tiying the cages two.

SMSmith ... you are pretty generous with that 50' roll of wire, I get (6) 8' lengths which make a 4' diameter cage out of a 50' roll.:D

Make sure the tree tubes are vented for the crabs and have a stick to tap the tube before loking into ... those wasps are speedy buggers!

swilk
01-29-2010, 03:03 PM
What is the downside of using woven-wire fencing?

Rural king has 330' sections of 47" woven wire fence for $139.

I have 52 trees coming in a month or so and am trying to figure out the most economical way to protect them.

swilk
01-29-2010, 03:11 PM
Notice I didnt say cheap .... difference between being economical and being cheap :D

sagittarius
01-29-2010, 03:32 PM
SMSmith ... you are pretty generous with that 50' roll of wire, I get (6) 8' lengths which make a 4' diameter cage out of a 50' roll.:D I think you mean 4 cages per 50ft? 50ft/4 = 12.5ft ... which makes a 3.98ft diameter round cage. ;)

smsmith
01-29-2010, 04:08 PM
I agree with the welded wire caging for the apple trees. Make sure you use the metal fence stakes for tiying the cages two.

SMSmith ... you are pretty generous with that 50' roll of wire, I get (6) 8' lengths which make a 4' diameter cage out of a 50' roll.:D

Make sure the tree tubes are vented for the crabs and have a stick to tap the tube before loking into ... those wasps are speedy buggers!

4' diameter cages are great - for about 2 years. Then the limbs start sticking out. Right now, I've got a number of cages at 5.5' that are too small. I may start going to 6.5' diameter cages.

Something isn't adding up there? 8' lengths will not give a 4' diameter cage I don't think. Math ain't my strong suit, but for me to get a 5.5' diameter cage out of 16.5' of wire = 16.5/3.14 = 5.25'. Using an 8' length/3.14 you'd get a 2.5' diameter cage - wouldn't you?

Tree Spud
01-29-2010, 11:29 PM
You're right, you are getting confused in the math. I have about 60-70 caged trees and they are all about, around, approximatley 4' diameter ... or there about.:confused:

If you are starting with seedlings, you have at least 3 years before you need to worry. Also, you will be pruning the bottom branches off to get lateral leader growth.

I started with 2 TN transpalnts and it took at least 2 yaers before the branches were a problem.

Not sure about others, but I am planting my apple trees well into the wild. I tend to start with more tees, and alow for all sorts of stuff to affect their success.

If you are planting them in an area you can monitor and tend to, you ain't outtin' them in a sanctuary area.

Start small, think big! Plant many, and then watch what survives ...

smsmith
01-30-2010, 12:03 PM
You're right, you are getting confused in the math. I have about 60-70 caged trees and they are all about, around, approximatley 4' diameter ... or there about.:confused:

If you are starting with seedlings, you have at least 3 years before you need to worry. Also, you will be pruning the bottom branches off to get lateral leader growth.

I started with 2 TN transpalnts and it took at least 2 yaers before the branches were a problem.

Not sure about others, but I am planting my apple trees well into the wild. I tend to start with more tees, and alow for all sorts of stuff to affect their success.

If you are planting them in an area you can monitor and tend to, you ain't outtin' them in a sanctuary area.

Start small, think big! Plant many, and then watch what survives ...

Well, somebody is confused on the math anyway :confused:

Don't think it's possible to get a 4' diameter cage out of an 8' length, but whatever works.

I plant my trees into wild settings as well, which is why I use individual exclosures(and when you have $18-$30 invested in each with the tree itself, landscape cloth, fencing, water absorbingn polymer, fertilizer, etc. I've found it makes MUCH more sense to protect them all rather than trying to provide quantity). I've also learned that having to replace cages once a tree gets 3-4 years old gets expensive and also labor intensive. Make a 5.5' diameter cage (out of a 16.5' length) and you'll be pretty good to go for a long time. Make a 2.5' diameter cage (out of an 8' length) and you'll be replacing or adding to the cage in 3 years or less. Even if you train the first scaffold of limbs at 5' that diameter won't protect that set of limbs. If you keep the deer away from the limbs for at least 5.5' feet they are much less likely to browse that first scaffold. Just my $.02

Bnhpr
01-30-2010, 07:20 PM
Circumfrence = diameter x 3.141

So, for a 5' diameter cage, you need around 16 or feet of wire.