Multiple trees, single planting hole -- yeas and nays?

gonebananas_gwFebruary 21, 2012

I have six southern apple selections on M-111 in 10-gallon pots and have only a moderate amount of room to try them in (three more will be available in a year or so). I can graft to a more-dwarfing rootstock but that makes a considerable delay for my trials and M-111 has some advantages for my infertile and droughty deep sands. I can also multigraft one tree but multiple trunks may be easier to maintain as codominant growth. Realizing that diversity rather than abundance of production is my goal, is multiple planting at least OK? Is there any serious disadvantage to this odd planting practice?

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I was thinking of three per hole.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:17AM
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I heard about the multiple trees in one hole concept and was intrigued by it. I mean - why not? It happpens in nature, doesn't it? I was all set to do it with a couple of pear trees. But then - I found an article on the subject by Linda Chalker-Scott. Linda is a Washington State University Extension agricultural scientist who researches these things. Anyway, she says that multiple trees in one hole deprive the trees of nutrients and make them more likely to get diseased. After 5-10 years they aren't doing well and at least one may die. She says that the nursery owners that encourage this practice are probably just trying to sell more trees!

After reading her article - and actually emailing her on the subject (she's good about responding, if you are inclined to ask her questions), we put our pear trees in separate holes. We put them a *bit* closer together than recommended, with the thought that we can control the size a bit if we want to. If we wind up with extra fruit, we can always donate it to our local food bank.

Here is a link that might be useful: Linda Chalker-Scott article

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:28AM
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shazaam(NC 7B)

As you might already know, Dave Wilson Nursery in CA is a big proponent of high density planting, including the multiple trees in a single hole approach. Their YouTube videos offer a wealth of information, and, in particular, the High Density Fruit Tree Growing video suggests that the technique works very well for them.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Yeah. I think Linda C-S referred to Dave in one of her responses on this subject - I can't find the reference, though. :-P I wonder how well his trees do over the long haul - ? Are they still doing well in, say, 15 years? I'm actually very interested in this technique - although we have some property, it's easier to care for trees that aren't spread all over the place. Also, I am a Master Gardener; some of my clients live on small lots and could be helped by this. But - we aren't allowed to provide "fad" information - only facts from reputable scientific organizations.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 12:53PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I've always thought it makes more sense to have one tree with multiple varieties, as long as you can keep everything in check.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:30PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


It sounds to me in the attached link that Linda C-S is not speaking from first hand experience. She's extrapolating from research on commercial orchards. I haven't done 4 in 1 either but am growing these trees as close as 1.5ft by 8ft and have many bearing trees in 3-15 gallon pots. In pots the pot size controls tree size even on standard root. So planting trees close together will dwarf them some. But careful management: mostly summer pruning and control of water and fertility are required for good production of quality fruit.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:42PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

You know, I agree with Linda Chalker-Scott's conclusion, BUT I think you can certainly intensively plant fruit trees, especially if they are semi-dwarf or dwarf, AND if you keep them pruned down. That's what I've done. My trees are about 4' apart in two rows that line my paver pathway. Here's what that looks like:

Because I'm in a drier climate, I'm hoping I won't have issues with lower air flow between trees. That might be the biggest concern. I do put compost and mulch down below the trees, and fertilize twice a year lightly. So, I think a modification of the single hole planting scheme is workable. At least, this seems logical to me for my area.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 1:47PM
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A LONG time ago, apples were grown in the vase-type of pruning now common with peaches and for much the same reason: better entry of sun and air abong the main branches. This practice fell out of favor because of trunk splitting with so many main branches leaving at about the same height. This at least suggests that a noninterfering upper growth can be maintained. And the three plants in one hole would not have the splitting problem of say three main branches from one open-cut tree.

I'm just thinking "out loud" here.

Thanks for the various leads and ideas BTW.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:08PM
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If you move that paver on the left side of the walkway then
you would have room for one more tree! :)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:50PM
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Emma Prusch Park in San Jose has a high density orchard and they have multiple trees in one hole. Seems to work from them.....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 3:55PM
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The density does indeed stunt the growth; I had to move the orchard because of competition from a nearby shade tree's roots, the poor apple trees not getting much bigger than whips. When I dug them up it was a mat of roots from the shade tree wrapped around the poor apple roots. I imagine they would do the same to each other; I'd even use a bigger rootstock like M111.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 7:42PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

To save space 4 of the 5 trees I planted this year are paired, it will take some time to see how it works but I'm going to follow Dave Wilson's instructions and hopefully they will be happy. I'll post some pictures and results in a few years ;o)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:47AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Hah, daemon2525! That flagstone step actually is in front of a gate that leads out the back to the orchard, so it has to stay, unfortunately :-( But, I do have two spaces on the right side of the walkway that you can't really see. I am putting an Emerald Beaut in one. So.....I have room for one more stone fruit. Not sure what it will be, yet. I have so many great folks who have helped me with my selections, and hopefully, I'll get a little fruit this year - My Artic Start Necatrine is absolutely covered in gorgeous pink blooms. It's on Citation, so it is very vigorous, had to do some significant pruning last summer to keep it in check. Definitely off my poms since I have some extremely precocious apple trees for my area (Golden Dorsett and the crazy Anna). Here's what I've got so far:

Anna (M111)
Pink Lady (M7)
Dorsett Golden (EZ-Pick EMA111)
Red Fuji (M111)
Fuji (?)

Minnie Royal (Colt)
Royal Lee (Colt)

Blenheim (Royal) Apricot (ultra dwarf-Pumiselect)
Autumn Glo Apricot (Citation)
Spice Zee Necta-Plum (Citation)
Cot-N-Candy Aprium (Citation)
"Flavor King
Pluot (Citation)"
Flavor Finale Pluot (Myro29C)
Burgundy Plum (Citation)
Emerald Beaut Plum (Citation)
"Stark Saturn Donut Peach
Sweet Bagel Peach (Lovell)
Sauzee King Necatrine (Citation)
"August Pride Peach
Arctic Star Nectarine (Citation)
Snow Queen Nectarine (ultra-dwarf Pumiselect)
Desert Delight Necatrine (Nemaguard)
Bella Gold Peacotum (Citation)
4-in-One Peach (Mid-Pride, Eva's Pride, Flordaprince, ? On Nemaguard)

And my pears are all in the front yard, in two semi-circles on either side of my driveway:

Later pears:
Seckel Pear (OHxF333) S
Comice Pear (OHxF97) S
Concorde Pear (OHxF87) S
Moonglow Pear (OHxF333) S
Fondante de Moulins Lille Pear N
Pineapple Pear LEC
Rescue pear (OHxF333) RT
White Doyenne E. Pear (OHxF333) RT
Suij E. Pear (OHxF333) RT

Earlier pears:
Jiugnos Pear TM (OHxF97) N
Bella Di Guigno Pear (OHxF333)RT
Butirra Precoce Morettini Pear N
"Citron de Carmes Pear N
Aurora Pear (OHxF 513) OGW
Ubileen Pear (OHxF 513) OGW
Doyenne de Juliette E.pear (OHxF333)

That's just the stones and poms. So, maybe? one more stone fruit. Open to suggestions?? Think I'm missing anything?? Fruitnut, Applenut, Frank, Peachymomo what do you think?

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:21AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

While there can be problems with multiple trees in one hole, the article cited above by Linda C-S is nothing but some naive calculations by a person with no field experience on the topic; its almost worthless as real information.

Lets redo her calculations. She seems to forget you need some pathways between all your trees; if you are putting four trees in one hole you need to space each of these groups say about 12' apart and in rows about 12' apart. If you do that you get 12x12/4 = 36 square feet per tree, which is 1200 trees per acre which is a pretty standard density for a commercial orchard today. My variation on that is I put trees 3-4' apart (not in groups of 3/4, just singles, like Patty) in rows 12' or so apart and that adds up to a similar overall density. In fact densities of double this are not uncommon in modern orchards, as Linda points out. So, her evidence against the model is fundamentally flawed by sloppy calculations.

Based on my experience she is correct that densities more than 2500 or so per acre are difficult to manage. I got ambitious and put in a row of apples spaced 1' apart. While I have harvested apples from most of the trees in this planting, this close density as well as the relative lack of sun (it is in a spot with only 5-6 hours of sun per day) plus me learning how to prune as I went along did definitely increase the diseases in this stand. I have been thinning this planting out and now it is about 2' per tree which is OK since the rootstocks are M9; I also know how to prune the trees to open them up.

Overall I feel that with good sun and proper pruning technique it is possible for home growers to grow any fruit tree at 3-4' spacing in rows 12' apart, or with 3-4 per hole and 6' clearance on all sides. Trees must be summer pruned to make sure the foliage is not overly shadowing, as DWN recommends on their website, and a close eye must be kept on the number of scaffolds to make sure they are not too dense.

PS Nice orchard pics, Patty! You need to make sure to keep an eye on how many scaffolds you keep on those trees as they get older, there is not a lot of room as you get further from the path with the wall on the left and bushes on the right. Since you are in California you won't have the disease problems that others will, but it will hit the productivity if you get too much shading from all the competition.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:12PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks for the kind words, Scott. And yes, I'm kind of a whimpy pruner, I will admit. Which is dumb, because I've been pruning roses for years, and the process and theory is essentially identical. I'm having one of our more expert orchardists stop by in a couple of weeks to help me shape up all my trees. It's definitely a tight squeeze, with the chainlink fence behind the trees of the left side of the path, and the crib wall behind the row of trees on the right. I'll make sure branches will be pruned out accordingly. Rootstock has made quite a difference in growth rates, so that will also be taken into consideration when we prune, too. Mostly what we deal with are Peach Leaf Curl, and if we get a really dry, hot summer, some spider mites in the late summer. All easily controlled. At least so far, that's been the experience at my place.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:41PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Multiple trees per hole - Yea/Nay?

On this forum, Scott is the most experienced in high density planting (he's also probably the most experienced in heirloom varieties on this forum) and in this regard, I think his advice good.

I would only caution that in windy conditions multiple trees per hole can expose trees to more risk of blow over. I know of one person in Nebraska that was disappointed in multiple trees per hole for this reason. According to him, trees planted in this manner tend to grow roots more in one direction (away from the vortex) so that they don't have the anchorage of trees planted in a more conventional manner.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:20PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

I have some peaches and nectarines planted four to a hole and have lost two trees. One, I think, lost vigor due to winter chill issues. The other seems to have been crowded out, perhaps at the roots. Trees should be matched for vigor if you plant multiple trees in a hole. I think that closer spacing in rows may be a better option for many people. Still with all the cautions noted above.

Currently, I am planting trees no closer than 5 feet apart, with at least 7 foot spacing for varieties from which I want more fruit.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:06PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Carolyn, I think this makes good common sense to me. Picking trees that have similar vigor to be in one hole together. Not unlike multiple grafted trees, where one scion is just so vigorous, it takes over the tree. My trees are between 3 and 4 feet apart, but then, I don't want huge amounts of fruit from any one tree, but would prefer a few from each, and lots of variety, so hopefully my planting plan will work out. Time will tell for me :-) Any suggestions for one more stone fruit, Carolyn? You're in Calif, although a bit more inland than me. But, we probably grow about the same varieties well.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 2:07PM
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Multi-plantings are fine. All you have to do is follow directions. I know that some folks will want to mess with or complicate the steps and introduce extenuating circumstances, but it's a perfectly fine way to go. I've got two apples (Fuji & Pink Lady) doing fine in one hole on M-111. They are next to a Beauty Plum and a Meyer Lemon.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:07PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I think we're all in agreement, mrclint. I think Carolyn did bring up some very helpful suggestions, and your Pink Lady and Fuji are pretty equal in vigor, plus on same rootstocks, so based on Carolyn's comment, you've got a great combination going with those two. I walked up and down my little "walk and pick" orchard, and figured my trees are between maybe 2 1/2 feet and 5 feet apart (I didn't measure as carefully as I proabably should have), so I do have some room for 2 more trees. One will be the Emerald Beaut that's on it's way from Raintree, and I have to figure out what other stone fruit I want to add. We are all I think in agreement, here. If something doesn't make it, and if you think it's due to root competition, then match up your same-hole trees to vigor and rootstock. Common sense. I really do like DWN's recommentations, and I've had the opportunity to listen to Tom Spellman from DWN being in California. I do know that this intensive planting is also a great way to sell more trees, no mistake about that, but frankly, for me, it's a win-win situation: Dave Wilson sells more trees, and the intensive planting philosophy gets me exactly a small number of fruits from a wide variety of trees. And, it's fun! I love having 40 different pom and stone fruits on just an acre of property. Awesome.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:42PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


One of the most unique stone fruit I grow that you don't have is Flavorella, a true plumcot. It's 250 hrs and blooms very early. My pollinator is Tasty Rich aprium which is right now the earliest harvest each year, mid April.

Flavorella is the most aromatic fruit I've ever encountered by far. It tastes very good if you can get the brix up to 22. Below 16-18 it's sour. It drops badly just as it ripens so I put a cushion under the tree.

You won't find a more unique fruit, a fuzzy plum. I've read it was, at least at one time, Floyd Zaiger's favorite.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:09PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

You're awesome, fruitnut, I can always count on you for a great suggestion! :-) And, 250 chill hours and high brix, just perfect for me, since I hate wincy stone fruits. Apricots are my favorite stone fruit, so this should be a perfect additoin. Awesome. Now, to find an online source. You have filled my last spot, thank you!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 9:54PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)


An old post by JoeReal mentions that it has the flavor of an apricot but the texture of a plum? Some pictures I've seen suggest it has some red blush? Sounds interesting and hard to obtain at this point!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:29PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


It doesn't taste like an apricot, it has the characteristics of a plum, some tartness at the skin and near the seed. So that may not fit your desire, like mine, for very sweet fruit. But at high brix it tastes very good. You should be able to get brix as high as mine if you get water right. Like most apricot it also needs to be well thinned and have very good light directly on the fruit if possible. My apricots usually have about 4-5 points higher brix on the top fruit in the canopy compared to the bottom fruit.

The fruit does have a little red blush in direct sun but the most striking feature of it's appearance is the translucent yellow color. Very tender and pretty. Certainly can't be shipped ripe.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:18AM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Patty, one thing I have learned is that chill requirements often make a real difference. I seem to have trouble with varieties listed at above 600 hours or so, but some listed with higher chill requirements have been O.K. and some listed at 600 hours have had trouble blooming. You are probably aware of most of the low-chill fruits available on the West Coast. Don't know if varieties coming out of Florida breeding programs would be available to you. There's a peachcot sold by Fannick's Nursery in Texas that is listed as "chill-neutral". Ripens in August. I have no idea how you would get one.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:48AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, fruitnut. Our water in the summer naturally gets reduced due to our dryness and heat. I can dial it down, but if I leave it the same, the trees naturally get less water due to the higher temps and lack of any rain. So, it kind of naturally happens for us out here due to our weather pattern. And this is exactly how my husband likes plums. I hate that tart skin and tartness next to the pit. Dave loves that. Ugh. Apricots don't seem to have that tartness so much, which is why I like them the best. I also need to buy a decent refractometer to measure brix, have any suggestions? The price spread is broad for them, you can really spend some significant bucks, but not sure that's necessary.

Did find a Flavorella near me, so I'll be picking that up this evening. And, I think I also found a Gold Kist at another nursery. They'll be planted very close to each other, so hopefully, I'll get fruit. Apricots grow here like weeds and REALLY have to be kept in check. I did do a good job with summer pruning my Blenheim and Autumn Glo. Interestingly, the Blenheim, on Pumiselect (did that on purpose to keep the growth in check) really took off. The Autumn Glo on Citation, not as much. All the trees on the east side of my walk, against the chainlink fence with the ridiculous Morning Glory & passaflora vines are much smaller than the trees on the west side of the walk. Definitely due to the sunlight. Once the east side trees get above the chainlink, things will even out no doubt. The Blenheim, although on the east side, is way up at the top of the walk and has nothing growing on the chainlink, so I think that is probabaly what is allowing it to grow so well, in comparison to the Autumn Glo.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 12:18PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Patty, I blush to be grouped with Fruitnut, Applenut, and Frank. I'm just an enthusiastic beginner with a fondness for research and a passion for homegrown fruit. Your orchard is not only more diverse than mine it is far more beautiful, my big goal this year is to get my little orchard spruced up enough to take pictures that I won't be embarrassed to share. I have a duel gopher/dog problem so the ground in the yard is always lumpy, bumpy, and full of holes, not to mention the weeds...

Anyways, I'd just like to thank everyone for all the advice and inspiration and wish you a fruitful and good year!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 1:24PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, Carolyn, appreciate the info, and yes, pretty much have all the low-chill varietes, especially DWN, listed out (and in my orchard). I am experimenting with a few "borderline" trees, like Red Fuji for example. Do have another question as far as a good pollenizer for Flavorella - I know you grow Flavor Delight Aprium. Looks like that might be a possibility as a pollenizer if I can't find a Tasty Rich Aprium or a Gold Kist apricot. Fruitnut & Carolyn, what are your thoughts about these two cross pollenizing choices for the Flavorella? Again, the Flavorella will be a test for me. I have micro-climates right on my own property, due to how it slopes and where the underground water is. The area my stone/poms are in is just about the coldest spot in my yard (the greenhouse is actually sitting in the "cold hole". Although in our area we're probably seeing maybe 350 CH, I'm betting that this little section of my yard is closer to 450 CH. It's like walking through a ghost when you walk down there at night in the winter :-) Folks all have commented about stepping into the "chill zone", lol!! I also am pushing it with a few stone fruits, too, like Flavorella, Bella Gold Peacotum, Flavor Finale Pluot, Autumn Glo apricot, Sweet Bagel peach, Sauzee King nectarine, and Emerald Beaut plum, all around 500 CH. But, so far, the only trees that are not in bloom (still dormant) are the Bella Gold Peacotum, Sweet Bagel peach and the Flavor Finale Pluot. Everything else is either in bloom or getting ready to bloom.

And peachymomo, you're a great resource, I'm pretty new to stone fruit, too, so I guess we're very thankful for fruitnut, frank, applenut and carolyn, plus several others who are very experienced and have been so good to share their successes, failures and secrets with us :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 3:39PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

It always seemed odd to me that DWN did not list Flavor Delight as a pollenizer for Flavorella, once they determined that apricots made the best pollenizers. But they originally listed Flavor Delight as needing pollination from either an apricot or pluot. For me, it acts like it is self-pollenizing. There is no bloom on other apricots when it starts blooming and very little bloom on other apricots when it finishes blooming for me. It is near Pluots which bloom at about the same time. But I really don't think they are pollenizing Flavor Delight. I think it may well be a good early pollenizer if you don't have a Tasty Rich. Might also pollenize Bella Gold, which I think will bloom before Blenheim (a listed pollenizer) for me.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 3:58PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Flavorella is 250 hrs, don't think it will be an issue. This is my first year with Gold Kist and it didn't start blooming until Flavorella was done. I do think Flavor Delight would be a good possibility. I like Tasty Rich fruit better than Flavor Delight but the only place I've seen selling Tasty Rich is Adams County Nursery.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:02PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks Carolyn & fruitnut. Appreciate the advice, and good that Flavorella is 250 ch! I thought it was more like 500. 250 is much below my ch, so that's great. I did see that Adam's County had (as in past-tense) Tasty Rich, so the only other online source I could find was some company called, When I tried to get to the shopping cart, I got a warning that the site was not to be trusted. So, I tried calling them, and just got a voicemail. So, I'm going to try to see what my local nursery has, which does have the Flavorella. They're a very well educated nursery center with bare root fruit trees, so I bet they've got a cross pollenator for the Flavorella. At least they may have ordered them. Hope they're still available. All the other suggested cross pollenators by DWN are really commercial varieties and not available at a nursery center that I'm aware of (Jordanne apricot, Flavor Ann Aprium or Gold Brink apricot).

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:24PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

One of the reasons given for planting multiple varieties in a single hole is to facilitate pollination, particularly with fruits such as the early-blooming Pluots which may bloom in weather too cool for bees.

With regard to Flavorella pollination, I recall that the latest theory concerning the pollination of hardy hybrid Asian/American plums is that 100% native plums makes the best pollenizers for the hybrids, which are notoriously tricky to pollinate.

It doesn't seem that this principle carries over much to the Japanese plum/Pluot/apricot crosses. But then most Japanese plums are complex species crosses to begin with, as I understand.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 4:26PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Interesting, carolyn. I don't think I'm going to have pollenizing issues with my bees, butterflies and bumble bees. I have some things planted with my fruit trees that attract so many pollenizers, it's actually a wee bit hazardous to walk down the walkway :-) I have that awful blue morning glory, Red Apple and passaflora. All of which I would yank in a hot second, if it wasn't for the hugely enormous number of bees, bumble bees and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. When I walked down there, my Artic Star necatarine, which is a riot of blooms right now, was crawling with bees. VERY good sign, as sometimes the attractor plants simply attract. And the bees won't move off of the attractor plants. But, seems they're all very happy to move back and forth. So, for insects, I'm set. I guess it's just a matter of flower timing and compatible pollens.

Fruitnut, what refractometer would you recommend to purchase to check brix?

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 5:16PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

This one isn't exactly like mine but would probably work for $40. 0-32 brix and temperature compensation are what you want.

Here is a link that might be useful: refrac

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:31PM
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carolync1(z8/9 CA inland)

Maybe I was wrong. It's the first year bloom for my Bella Gold, but it started blooming a couple of weeks ago and there are still flower buds opening. Blenheim and Harcot are starting to bloom now, so the bloom of Bella Gold may overlap. Flavor Grenade Pluot is the other listed pollenizer. Bella Gold has pretty pink flowers.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:55PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Wow, carolyn. My Bella Gold still looks to be quite dormant, sound asleep. Not even bud swelling at this point. Blenheim is starting to bloom, but nothing at all from my Bella Gold. Nice to know it has pretty pink flowers, though. It's right next to my Arctic Star which is covered with lovely medium pink flowers. I'll snap a photo of it and post tomorrow.

But, I did just get back from Walter Andersen Nursery in Poway, and picked up a Flavorella and a Flavor Delight, in case I can't locate a Tasty Rich, which would really be a stretch here for me at 700 ch. Thanks for the refractometer source, fruitnut. Good price range for me since I'm just a hobbiest. Perfect!!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Wow, Multiple trees, single planting hole!. There are some very good discussions going on . . I am glad that I stumbled upon this thread! I truly enjoy reading them all.

I read somewhere back few years ago about this practice but had never got too much into it. Come to think about it, it is good idea for suburban folks who has limited space but want more varieties , don't care too much about if the tree bare large quantity of fruits ot not. I spaced my trees in 10-15 feet apart, I might be able to add 1-2 more tree in between.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 12:07PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I got a surprise last year when picking apples from a tree my grandfather planted at least 40 years ago. I didn't bother to spray it or anything, as it needs a few years of pruning to bring it back. The few apples I got that were edible were yummy from one side of the tree, yet the apples from the other side were definitely not "eat off the tree" apples. When I took a closer look I realized that the bark on one side was completely different from the other side. Apparently my grandfather was practicing this method a generation ago. The other apple tree on the property was similar but the trunks had not inculcated and one of the two died due to neglect. I will try to send a picture, but it's really nothing spectacular. If you plant them close enough I guess they become one trunk. If I end up cutting it down I will definitely be able to see if these were once two trees(or more).

There is crab apple near my house that looks like one tree, but last year I noticed that the blooms were quite different on each main branch. I doubt that this is a multi-graft crab apple. I am now assuming that the closer you plant them the better so they simply inculcate.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 12:16PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Ive got 2 peaches using Daves method spaced 2' apart in a triangle. Im looking for a third nectarine to complete the triangle. I want to get it before the other 2 grow massive amounts of roots. I was lucky because my red baron I planted last year was in a peat pot that seemed to contain the roots a bit and when I planted the second peach 2' away I didnt encounter much root mass. So now I need a good yellow flesh low chill nectarine to plant before the other two start to grow wild. Dave says so prune from the center cutting any branches that grow towards any of the other trees. So Ill just do what he says while pruning the outside of the triangle as well. Ill let you guys know in a few years how things go.

Hi Patty. Im a plum nut so for your last stone fruit tree I was thinking Hollywood Japanese plum? They look so good! :)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 4:44PM
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