Heat and Fruit trees

mrsg47(7)July 17, 2012

What is the status of where you live re: no rain, endless (seemingly) days of 90 degree weather. In my small orchard, the apples (bagged) are just fine. I have no watering system since I'm in the Northeast and usually have more rain this time of year than we've had. Some of the peach tree leaves are turning yellow, but all new foliage is healthy and growing. The Harglow Apricot is going strong and still growing like crazy. That tree, produces no fruit but grows like stink. The five apples are all still shooting up new leaves. The Italian plum is clinging on to its eighteen plums this year but has stopped growing new leaves. The raspberries have been fabulous. The currants have all been harvested and eaten! The mid-west must be miserable. I just listen to the news about all fruit and vegetable prices rising. Mrs. G

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denninmi(8a)

Well, for me, it is a 0 fruit year for all tree fruits due to the April freezes. I had a decent amount of strawberries, all I wanted, raspberries were not great because they had no rain, tiny but tasty, blueberries the same, I should have watered but I ALWAYS fall for the weatherman's siren song of "but it's going to rain tomorrow", so blueberries are tiny but tasty. No grapes, even currants and gooseberries and honeyberry had significantly diminished crops due to the hard hard freeze.

The irony, even though its hot and dry, the vegetative growth on my trees is AWESOME -- we had a tremendous soil moisture reservoir from last year AND I think the dry weather is inhibiting disease organisms for the most part.

I wonder what this will do to next year's bud set. I know blueberries for one do NOT set buds well at all when it's hot and dry. Those I MUST water, but it seems like I'm overextending my well as it is with containers and vegetable garden.

It's ONLY going to go up to 103 here today. So, I pray for rain. The weatherman says tomorrow it's going to rain, of course I believe him ;-)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:13PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

No fruit for me, trees are too young.
I have sandy, well draining soil.
I just soak the compost heap and drench the donut hole in the compost when the soil shows signs of drying. Trees havent blinked.

My grass on the other hand...

-Eric
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    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:38PM
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ltilton

D1 drought, record-breaking heat. It's impossible to water enough. I think the apples and pears will come through, but be small. Some are already coloring. Didn't get enough water to the blueberries. Not only did the fruits shrivel, I see damage to foliage. Pest pressure eliminated the plums. Freeze got half the strawberries, but left enough for me. Aprium and cherry the only really nice crops so far this year, probably because they were very early.

Next year's fruit will probably be scant because I don't see how it can sustain bud development now.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 12:57PM
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mamuang_gw

My peaches (PF 24 C) have not grown in size at all for the past 3 weeks. They were sizing up well before that. Don't really know what causes it. Asian pears continue to size up. Squirrel took my first William's Pride, bag and all. They have not touched the rest that are still quite green. I've tried to water blueberry bushes and first year trees.

Once in a while, there are stray summer storms. They usually miss my neighborhood for less than a mile. That's my luck(less).

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 1:16PM
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myk1(5 IL)

I hope nobody needs to feed corn next year. IL's corn crop is between very bad to a complete loss. If IA and IN are anywhere near as bad that's a major chunk of 35% of the world corn crop.
My garden shows it. Only the early corn had tassels and silks at the same time. The 2 other plantings threw their pollen without silks and are extremely short for the variety.

My McIntosh aren't doing bad at all. I don't know how but they're putting on plenty of size.
I didn't bother bagging my Arkansas Black figuring they're going to be worse than last year and after last year I was glad I gave up on spraying.
The Cortland isn't doing good at all.
Plums were tiny (although it's their first bearing year).
Grapes are getting raped by the birds for water even though they're nowhere near ripe.
Raspberries are doing fine.
Looks to be a bumper year for melons, at least how they're setting.

Growthwise the fruit has stalled but has its moments with every pop up shower we get. It's actually good for the grapes because 3 got to the stage of finishing off the foundation of the future cane producing buds and they're very short between buds. They may not have enough growth to produce next year but the foundation is there to have plenty of cane choices in the future.
A new apple tree has completely stalled on top growth.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:20PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

We had a dry winter, dry spring, and hot dry summer. The ground here holds a lot of water, but it's been depleted. Some peach trees have set terminal buds, which almost never happens until late fall.

One strange effect of the heat and drought is that the ripening schedule is somewhat mixed up.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 2:24PM
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ltilton

The heat, the drought, the early warm spell have all played havoc with normality.

myk - IN is overall worse off than IL. IA not quite so bad.

Here is a link that might be useful: US drought monitor

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 4:00PM
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mrsg47(7)

Itilton and all, thanks for your responses. They all make me feel much better. The US drought monitor is way off when it comes to southern RI. We had one thirty minute downpour two days ago. Every rain storm or thunder shower seems to move right out to sea and misses us. We're due for a thunderstorm tomorrow night. Praying it happens! My four apricots are still hanging on the to four year old tree and are still hard, green and the size of a nickel. What is that? I'm afraid these bursts of thundershowers will just make the fruit swell without taste. I have a dry orchard as water in Newport, RI is way too expensive to drag out the hose. Wish I could. Somehow the trees and berries are hanging in there. Only the currants are starting to dry up. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 6:44PM
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denninmi(8a)

Myk1 wrote: "I hope nobody needs to feed corn next year."

Well, I kind of hate to, but I'm going to dramatically diminish my flock of poultry and waterfowl. The cost of feed has literally doubled or more in the past 3-4 years, I used to pay $9 for a 50lb bag of layer pellets, it's now $17 and has been slashed to 40 lbs. Cracked corn was about $8.50 or $9, now is $13 heading up rapidly.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 6:53PM
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mrsg47(7)

Olpea, 'Mixed Up' is the perfect comment, and in horticulture/agriculture, that term does not sit well. This year is one for the books.

Myk1, so sorry about your poultry. The cost of everything for the orchard, birds, and gardens in general are going through the roof. I wish I had enough room for poultry as it would save me the trip to 'Stop and Shop' and putting more money in the pocket of Mr. Perdue.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 7:03PM
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bruce2288

May 26 was my last rain and early spring was not very wet. Wind with low humidity and high temps have really stressed young trees even with watering. Pasture are brown, Non irrigated crops look terrible, I am selling some cows next week. Unfortunately my lack of fruit is the least of my worries.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 11:21AM
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ABz5b

We had a very wet spring here in the Pacific Northwest. And have had intermittent showers since this summer. More than normal which has caused a few fungal issues. It has recently dried up and hit in the mid 90s here in the last few weeks. Berries are loving it most over 6ft tall. Tomoatoes however have hated the cool wet spring, they are a few weeks behind normal.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 1:28PM
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mrsg47(7)

Finally we had two showers lasting no more than ten minutes each. One this morning and one last night. Am worried sick about my trees. They are not looking stressed, but really need a good two day soak.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 2:01PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

We have been in a drought situation for a couple of years and part of that at D4. Here is my experience that might help.

Grown apple trees will be just fine so put them at the bottom of the list. Put fruit trees less than 2 years at the top. Put newly planted trees at the very top. If you watered one and two year old fruit trees and still have water left then water stone fruit next then apple.

Water core damage may be the next biggest problem with the drought. Apples look good till you cut them open. Look for a hole in the stem end. Not always there with watercore damage in the beginning.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:23PM
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mrsg47(7)

Randy thanks for the info. Haven't seen any holes at the stem end of my apples. I have set out plastic/rubber wagons and a few barrels to catch rain, but with not rain, there is little I can do. Am hand watering my new trees that seem to baring up. One new Green Bavay Plum is starting to have yellow leaves, but at the same time it is sending out new green leaves. This is just not a great year for much. Family included! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:03PM
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Randy31513(Georgia 8b)

Mrs G mulch those new trees for sure. If you have nothing else, newspaper will work.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:43PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Mulch like crazy. I usually mulch my beds heavily and this year I was lazy and my veggie garden was a disaster (with weeds)..yield has been very poor.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:54PM
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mrsg47(7)

Thanks Randy and Frank, I have mulched. We have had our first 'all day' slow but steading soaking rain today. Thank Goodness! Not a downpour but steady light shower. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 7:46PM
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