The fruit trees we planted three years ago are doing very nice. There are apples on all five of the apple trees. One of the apple trees is so heavily loaded that one of its branches split.
The cherry crop this year is amazing. I actually had to move the chickens out of the orchard area as they would hop and peck off sour cherries on the lower branches of the Montmorency. By the time I got them moved only the top story cherries remained. I’m glad they hadn’t discovered the sweet cherries on the Lapins tree.
We have two Asian pear trees. The Chojuro tree is doing very well but the Shinseiki tree always looks like it is dying because it has so few leaves. The Shinseiki had a lot of fruit on it this year, but Lee stripped most them off so the tree could work on its health verses producing fruit.
The quince tree, Smyrna, has put on its first fruit. I was shocked when I saw it as the fruit is fuzzy feeling at this stage.
We have been looking for sulfur to apply to the blueberries. It seems impossible to buy it around here. We have checked four farm stores so far.
Of the 19 trees we planted, three have died. One pawpaw, Mitchell variety, was killed by cold weather during the first winter. It was the smaller tree of the two. The American persimmon, John Rick, died this year. There is a huge amount of gopher activity where it is planted, so I’m going to blame its demise on rodent-caused root damage. The third tree that died was an empress tree. We bought it as a test case for a biomass/firewood tree. It survived one year in a pot, and then died during the second winter after we planted it. I’m not sure what caused it to die. We also lost one of our twelve blueberry plants to the chickens. They scratched out a big section of it’s roots and we didn’t notice it until the spring.
We planted fruit trees during our first spring here, so we are happy to see them making progress. We may still be years away from having a proper orchard, but seeing fruit on almost every tree is a huge milestone.