Need help picking a tree for a kid

curtis(5)May 8, 2014

This tree is for my nephew who just turned 7. I won't brag him up too much, but he is a blast. I re-named him Herbert when he was a new born and he answers to it. :)

He is going into his 3rd year with his raspberry bush. He is on the ball checking that bush. It even occurred to him this past winter that he should go check it. Fortunately he only lives a mile or so from Grandpa,so in season gets there about every other day. It is funny the way that kid can focus on picking and eating raspberries.

So he gets two trees in his grandfathers back yard. I already put in a TangO NJ16 peach. The other tree was going to be a pear but was reading in another thread that they take extra long to produce fruit. I have 3 apple trees in my yard so there is plenty of opportunity to pick apples without using one of his spots.

I don't know anything about plums, but am open to that. Although more then anything I would rather hear that Bartlett pear will bear by 5 years. I would graft the pollinator onto the same pear tree. I graft well and have access to other varieties.

I had also thought of a second peach that is 2-3 weeks later then the tango, but he likes pears and there is no source close to home.

We are talking zone 5, Omaha NE (Tony Tran country)

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Just a thought. . . I think a 'combo' tree would be fun for a child. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Harrow Sweet is supposed to be a precocious pear, some people claim it sets a little fruit the first year. All pears need 2 different varieties for cross pollination, though.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 2:04AM
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My Harrow Sweet on OHxF rootstock (can't remember 333, 87 or 97) planted in 2012. It fruited in 2013 (after a year of planting). Of all my fruit trees, it's the fastest tree to fruit. Mine is almost 5 ft tall this year.

If you have any pear trees in your yard or nearby, it should help with pollination. It's quite disease resistant. So far, only some pear blister mites. I sprayed with sulfur last year. I did not spray lime sulfur in time during dormant stage this year.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 7:03AM
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I'd suggest a european plum. When I was 7 we lived on a 6 acre fruit tree orchard. From June to October my diet must have been > 75% fruit. I loved it all (except the quince), but the purple european plums are the most memorable. I would start eating them early while still unripe, up until they were way overripe and starting to 'prune' while on the tree - quite a lengthy period. I would fill my shirt with 20 or 30 plums, head into the house, and watch flinstones. The Stanley and NY9 I planted about 10 years ago produced pretty quickly, and within a couple years were strong enough to climb and collect fruit. Perfect for a kid.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:32AM
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alan haigh

Do the Harrow Sweet and graft a Harrow Delight on it if they are compatible. They both are precocious- you need the pollen to make the Harrow Sweet set fruit (probably, pears are a bit mysterious is this regard- most may be self fruitful when weather is warm in early spring).

If you do a plum, I don't recommend Stanley- it never gets beyond hard ripe before it falls off the tree. If your season is long enough, Valor is great for its long picking season but isn't self fruitful as is Castleton. Valor may take a bit long for you to get fruit, though. Empress is similar but seems more precocious but doesn't have the long picking season.

Actually, if you don't get much rain during the ripening season prune plums tend to hang on the tree forever (besides Stanley) getting sweeter and sweeter until you have prunes. Having said all this, I think Castleton is your best bet. It is a spreading, semi-dwarf tree by nature.

Cummins carries it.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:39AM
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How about an Asian pear combo on OHxF 333? That worked well for me from millers. Bloom and fruit second year. Long term though I warn you they stopped growing lots and maybe a bit smaller fruit. (I dont think I thin enough) But short term that rootstock in my soil was highly precocious. Fastest out of anything. I didnt have to do much to get it to grow and bloom.

Harrow sweet on OHxF 87 took me 3 years for first fruit. Only a few. By 4th year a handful or two. 5th year was looking great. voles took it out winter of 4th year. The tree grew wonderfully well. Branched just right, limbs hung well with very minimal work to pull them down. Was the star of my orchard. It did take a long time to get growing thogh oddly enough. When I first got it, it looked like Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I quesitoned of it would make it. I trimmed it and stuck it in. Didnt do much of anything first year. Second year not so much either. 3rd year it exploded.

Good luck. If grandson likes pears.. I say plant pears with him.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:57AM
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alan haigh

Dan, the trouble with your Asian may be the rootstock. Asians are naturally dwarf and very precocious even on Betufolia. I'd never put them on a rootstock less vigorous than that unless I wanted a full dwarf tree.

Kids do tend to love the no acid flavor of Asians when they get up good sugar, though.

I've been getting about 10 harrow sweets on OHX97 a year for about last 4 from ACN and they've not stalled out even the first year. They always flower the second but aren't really ready to let fruit until they are 4 years old.

The Asians I get from them never grow much the first year at all.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Grapes fruit fast...and grow easily?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 10:41PM
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alan haigh

Yeah, my 3 year old grandson loves grapes from my vine.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:42AM
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I agree with MrsG47, a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 combo would be great. It's so fun for my kids to see the different colors of apple growing in the home orchard! (fun for me too!)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 6:35AM
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Seems like you should be able to go to the nursery and find some potted trees that will fruit a tiny bit this year and even more next year. Most of the potted pear trees in the nurseries around me have at least a couple forming

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 11:16AM
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