Planning a small orchard; seeking advice
I have a small backyard area that gets a lot of sun (30x70) and I really want to convert that area into productive land but don't really want to expand the garden so much at this time. So I've decided to plant 2-4 fruit trees in the space. I already have two wild apples and what I am reasonably certain is a wild black cherry. The soil I am planting in is relatively rocky compacted clay - it is rich but very rough on roots. I have been doing a lot of research on fruit and feel like I'm finally ready to purchase some paw paw and pear trees. But before I spend what to me is a lot of money I do have a few questions:
Would you amend the hole you are planting in or do you simply sift and repack the soil?
There are several different types of pear rootstock. Quince rootstocks seem susceptible to disease and not as cold hardy as OHxF. Why do people use quince still(or is it being phased out)? Am I correct that I should look for a OHxF variety for fire blight resistance and cold hardiness?
Does anyone have experience with OHxF in a piedmont clay setting?
I really love soft melting pears like Comice but a truly ripe Bartlett is quite good. I am also intrigued by asian pears - but they only cross-pollinate one way? Is there any way to grow a Comice type and Hosui and get fruit on both or would I need a third tree/graft?
It seems like a lot of pawpaw transplants don't make it. How likely is it that a tree will grow on to be productive and fruitful if it survives the first season or so?
Are there any people who have productive clusters of pawpaws?
I ordered one Taytwo pawpaw from OGW, and I really wanted a Susquehanna but they were out. So for the second tree I am thinking of just getting a small seedling and grafting on to that as it grows. Really just any advice or success stories or pics from pawpaw growers would be great.