Author Topic: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please  (Read 5660 times)

Offline GodFearingMan

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13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:13:53 PM »
I have planted 6 fruit trees, 2 apples, 2 pears, 1 plum, and 1
Peach.

I am now looking at helping them along as best as possible. I live in the puget sound area of Wa state. I am wondering if there are any suggestions for resources on pruning and training trees that are particularly good.  I am also interested in any companion plants anyone has had success with that I can put around these trees. Any other suggestions are welcome I am completely new to fruit trees.

Thanks

Offline Cedar

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 08:48:50 PM »
Are your apples and pears able to cross pollinate or are they self pollinating?

Get 4 (ish) mains on your apples and pears. I try to go for North, South, East, West but sometimes the trees don't abide by that. I try to get the 4 mains about my belly button to chest level ideally. My rules for my trees are. Cut off anything going back into the tree. Cut off branches which cross. Cut off anything which grows down. Cut off anything which goes straight up to 6" and 6" between those. OK. You WILL still have limbs, don't worry.

Save those branches which curve.        ~ll~   <---- Kinda like that. The ll is the trunk and the ~ the branches. The one on the right side is correct. The one on the left not so much. The one on the left curves down.. the one on the right arches up. You want the arches to hold the weight of the fruit. The weight of the fruit on the left will rip the branch off the tree, the branch on the right will act like a spring. I however would cut it at the "U" part to the left of the "down part" of the curve. Then wait for the next branch to curve from where you cut it.


See the curves on the tree above? And the curve on the curve? This is your springs to hold the weight of the fruit.

Cedar

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2013, 08:57:10 PM »
That sounds like some serious pruning! My apples and my pears are varieties that will cross pollinate.  So on the pruning, should I cut the center main that is going straight up and keep the branches that are spreading out more? If that make sense :/

Offline Cedar

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 09:08:29 PM »
Can you send me a pic of the tree or post it? Then I can show you better

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Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 02:03:54 AM »
I will try and get some pics before work tomorrow

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 08:05:16 AM »
I have planted 6 fruit trees, 2 apples, 2 pears, 1 plum, and 1
Peach.

I am now looking at helping them along as best as possible. I live in the puget sound area of Wa state. I am wondering if there are any suggestions for resources on pruning and training trees that are particularly good.  I am also interested in any companion plants anyone has had success with that I can put around these trees. Any other suggestions are welcome I am completely new to fruit trees.

Thanks

Going to suggest taking a trip to Paul Gauschi's orchard (Olympic Peninsula). Here is a link to a photo the way he has his Back to Eden orchard trimmed:
 http://easyeden.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DSCF1173.jpg

You'll note he takes out the center of the tree and keeps his trimmed so that no ladder is required for harvest.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V88Cg6nRRgc

Offline Cedar

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 09:31:44 AM »
Going to suggest taking a trip to Paul Gauschi's orchard (Olympic Peninsula). Here is a link to a photo the way he has his Back to Eden orchard trimmed:
 http://easyeden.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DSCF1173.jpg

It also depends on if you have dwarf, semi dwarf or standard trees too. These look like dwarf in this link. The trees I have been pruning at our farm in the last week are older standards and before I got to them were 40-50 feet tall and we just brought them down to twenty feet high.

We have severe deer and elk issues at the farm and they are breaking branches well over 8-10 feet up. If you have animal damage like this, you might not want to keep them so low if you do not have a tall fence all the way around.

Cedar

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 03:57:06 PM »
Thanks for the links to easyeden I am going to have to look a lot more at that.

Here are my trees I just planted. They are all semi dwarf I believe. A couple look a little sad but those I got them free so I'm not complaining.

Apple


Apple


Peach


Plum


Pear


Pear


Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 04:24:46 PM »
Okay so I have pruned up the trees, and now I am planning what to do around these trees. I am thinking of sheet mulching and planting some support plants such as nitrogen fixers and mulch plants. Any suggestions? I also have lots of deer around here and was wondering good ways to keep them away, without putting up a fence.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 09:20:24 PM »
Would suggest an electric fence for the deer. Saw someone post about putting soap in a sock and hanging ever 40-50 yards on a fence (a Kentucky corn farmer swore by it :)
Plants to repel deer - yarrow, lavender, marigolds, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme.   
Could always try Sepp Holtzer's bone concoction if all else fails...

Offline Cedar

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 09:23:39 PM »
I somehow did not see this thread since my last post. How did you do on the pruning? If you want to post those I could give pointers and kudos. On some of the ones which are 'tight and straight up', you could put a spreader or weight on those branches to get them to behave better for your needs.

Cedar

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 09:35:51 PM »
http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/factsheets/deerdef/bridgen_list.pdf
Found this interesting list. Note especially the 95% plants that deer avoid.

Offline GodFearingMan

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Re: 13 in 13 Fruit Orchard help please
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 04:33:52 AM »
Thanks for the tips everyone I haven't been able to get on here in a few days. I will get some pics posted of my pruning and we can all laugh about my noob mistakes :) I do think to get a good shape on some of them I am going to have to weight them down or use spreader or something like that