Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fruit Trees

I ordered three more fruit trees to put in my old asparagus bed that died. Thursday the first of the packages showed up. It as from Miller and it was Liberty and Macfree apples. Both are disease resistant apples. I planted them up on Friday. I'm going to espalier them against the fence. I'm hoping it works.

I have three other trees along that fence that I'm doing as espaliers. The first is a plum tree. It has been struggling with aphids every year, but it seems to be doing a bit better this year. I'll have to cut the neighbor's lilac bush back to the fence line though as it is coming over and starting to shade the tree. The other two are figs. Figs aren't really hardy here. They will die back to the soil if you don't insulate them. So last year I dumped leaves on them and as you can see I got some of the branches to survive and those early figs are already starting to form. I'll have to get more serious about insulation next year now that I know it can work. The shape I want to do is a vertial cordon shape for these. I want to cut each vertical branch off every other year. Figs can produce fruit on new and year old branches. And the new branch fruit will probably never really ripen in our climate. But the ones from the year old branches can. So if I cut out every other branch I'll have year old branches every year to get fruit from. It still remains to be seen if it will work or not, but I have high hopes.

The other tree on order, a pear tree, came on Friday, so it got planted up this morning. If you notice the plum was in a fan, the figs were in a vertical cordon shape, but the apples produce best in a horizontal cordon shape. They like when their branches are parallel to the ground. So the apples and pear will be done that way.

I do have other trees in my yard that I put in a couple years ago. I have two more dwarf apples (Ginger Gold and Honey Crisp), and two dwarf peaches (Reliance and New Red Haven). I'm hoping to get fruit from two of those trees and maybe three. The Honey Crisp has hardly grown though so if it does produce then I'll take all the fruit off. But I think since the trees are in their third year now, I can let them produce. I hope. I really want some home grown peaches and apples.

I really know very little about fruit trees. I've certainly read about them, but have no real experience. So everything I do is taken on faith. A lot of how I garden is to try things out and see for myself. But with trees they just take so long so you have to do what others tell you to.


  1. Nice work on the plum, Daphne. I have a Shiro plum that's grown out of control. I wish I had the foresight to have it espaliered. It gave me several fruits in its 2nd year. Beautiful yellow plums, a bit sour but very nice flavor. Since then, the plum curculio has discovered it and has completely ravaged every single fruit. Zero harvest from then on! I'll be eagerly waiting for updates on your fruit trees.

    That fig tree is exciting to see!

  2. Good luck on your apple trees and your fig production. Maybe I can learn from your experiences! Nancy

  3. Hi. May I suggest the holistic orchard by Michael Phillips. An amazing book on growing fruit organically. It's been very helpful to me re: apples, pears, berries, etc.

  4. I'll be watching with interest what happens with your Fig tree, because I got a small one last year. It's in a pot at present because it is only tiny, but I may eventually want to put it in the soil. It might not survive outdoors in Winter weather like we had this last year.

  5. Someday I'd like to try espaliered fruit trees. Your plum is beautiful.


  6. I'd love to do a trade some fig cuttings with you if you are interested .I have about 30 varieties of fig trees I can take cuttings from and I also have a large collection of tomato seeds and other garden seeds I can share with you in return. my email is if you want to talk more, thanks and I look forward to hearing back from you.