planting a (very small) orchard

grullablue(5)January 27, 2011

I have a nice little area just beyond my yard that I'd like to use to plant some fruit trees. But I will admit, I have NO experience with this! I planted some raspberry bushes there last summer, they are growing very well, and where I planted them, they have plenty of room to expand and grow.

I would love to have a couple apple trees, peach trees, plum trees maybe....I don't know if there are varieties of trees that stay quite small....but space will be an issue. Although I know I may need more than one for fruit production.

I would like to learn all I can before I buy anything...where is the best place to buy, I know it will take several years for anything to produce....but I'll be happy just knowing they're in the ground. We do have some wild apple trees very close to where this place is...will that pose a problem? These apples are very small, and I wouldn't eat them. I haven't even looked to see if peaches are suitable for our zone, but I know plums are, as we had a plum tree in my yard growing up....

I have seen pictures of white stuff on teh that to protect them from rabbits and things? We do have a fair share of rabbits around here (my back yard borders the woods).

Thanks for any input!


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I did what you're doing now starting a couple years ago. I am still a rookie but have learned some things which might be helpful.

this is the best forum I've ever found for helpful and expert information.

1. identify your zone and soil type when you post a question as this will impact experts advice.

2. do a soil test

3. learn about rootstocks and how they impact tree growth and viability for your zone.

4. do some research on what fruit you want and how much space the trees will require. then you can do some preliminary layout.

5. find out what pests and diseases are prominent in your area and give consideration to same when picking your trees.

6. start a big ring binder or file where you'll collect information, articles, nursery catalogs, and other stuff. It'll be a lot.

7. use the internet for research. there are vast amounts of info, much of it from various universities. Add that to the practical experience and advice you get here and you'll have a very good chance of avoiding any big mistakes.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 1:22PM
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misterbaby(7a/b TN)

You can grow apples and peaches in zone 5, and a nice orchard can be fit into a small, sunny space. Apples can be grown very close together, almost like tomatoes, provided you use a suitable root stock and stake or trellis them. Peaches, too, need not take up a lot of space. For great ideas on the apples, go to Google video and search U. Mass Fruit Advisor.

The nearby apples should help to pollinate your new trees. Not to worry about them. Tree trunks are painted white(using diluted interior latex) to avoid sunburn, etc. Better to wrap the trunks with aluminum foil, as this will also discourage the bunnies from girdling the trees.

Good luck. Misterbaby

Here is a link that might be useful: apple root stocks

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 11:05AM
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