kansas fruit trees

stimey(6a)August 14, 2009

I live here in the wichita ks area, and I am wanting to plant 8 fruit trees, I have a pretty good idea of what kind and variety etc. I have been to some of the local nurserys, and dont find any that grow there own fruit trees, and the fruit trees they have brought in seem to be over priced. At any rate I want to order on line for a spring planting, and dont have a clue who to trust. Dont mind paying a little extra, but I do want to get quality trees. Any suggestions?

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frozen_north(Zone 4a - Minnesota)

I have had good service and quality stock from:


These nurseries specialize in colder climate trees so they may not have the selection of warm-climate trees you want.

Cummins is unique in offering a broad choice of rootstocks while the other nurseries offer two at most.

You can also graft your own trees for next to nothing but that adds a year onto the process and requires some fiddling around getting suitable rootstocks and scionwood.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Thanks for you quick reply, what about Gurneys? They are such a big name, I want to plant trees mid Sept. and they seem to have what I want, kind of pricey though.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:32PM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

I tell this to many people who ask this question. Check out any nursery you're thinking of purchasing from on the "Garden Watchdog" site which ranks/reviews online nurseries. The easiest way to do this is to Google the name of the nursery and then the word "Scoop" So Google "Cummins Nursery Scoop".

I'll 2nd the recommendation of Cummins. I'll also add Adams County Nursery.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Ok I got the scoop and I agree, thanks for the info. I do like Cummins and Adams, very professional.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 2:04PM
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stimey: greetings from a NC KS fruit grower (in training). It is a very good idea to order your plant material now rather than in the spring when everybody else does, you should have a much better selection to choose from. I ordered a particular apple rootstock/scion from Cummins that you couldn't find anywhere else because they put it together for me, another route to go.

Feel free to e-mail if you have any questions. There are at least 1 or 2 other KS posters here.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:19PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Michael's post encouraged me to check in. You've been given good advice on nurseries. It really doesn't matter what online nursery you order from, as long as it's a good one. We live in the middle of the nation, and it takes about as long to get trees from east coast nurseries, as west coast nurseries. A couple other decent nurseries that haven't been mentioned are VanWell nursery out of WA, Greenmantle Nursery out of CA, and Johnson Nursery out of GA.

Don't buy from local nurseries, and don't buy from the Gurneys/Henry fields outfit, unless you're desperate.

You may want to post what your planning on ordering. Some folks may have experience with something you're planning to order, and can steer you away from it, or encourage you.

You may think you've researched the cultivars sufficiently to give you confidence in your order, but take it from one who has planted many mistakes. The catalogs or university descriptions may sound authoritative, but they are no substitute for someone with experience with them in your area.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 5:01PM
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A good example of Olpea's comment on what you read vs what you get: the catalog I ordered my Freedom and Jonafree apple trees from stated they were, "resistant" to Cedar Apple Rust. Well, the Freedom tree has needed no fungicides in it's 5 years in the ground here while the Jonafree shows little to no resistance to CAR. The Jonafree must be sprayed or it will become badly infected. I live in an area with extreme CAR pressure.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2009 at 2:20PM
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Here is the list of trees I have chosen, please critique this list and tell me what you think about my selections and leave your suggestions keeping in mind my location.
2 Apple trees, one Gold Rush, one Golden delicious, root stock Enla 25
2 Cherry trees both Ulster, root stock Mahaleb
2 Asian Pears 1ea. Shinko 1ea. Shinseiki
2 Peach trees 1ea. Early Red Fre, root stock peach tenn nat V f-281-1 1 Allstar root stack Bailey

These choices i picked from adams.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:32PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


On the apples, be prepared to spray for cedar/apple rust. Both Gold Rush and Golden Delicious are highly susceptible and will surely have problems with it. It shows up as brown fungal bodies on the leaves, and will rot the fruit. Many spray materials are effective against this pest, but Captan is not one of them.

Your Asian pears are susceptible to fireblight which is a significant problem in some years. A few years ago, I witnessed a neighbor's tree completely succumb to fireblight. This year I have a couple of trees showing symptoms, one of which I may lose.

Your cherry trees should do fine, as long as the soil drainage is good. Mahaleb is reported to be highly susceptible to root rot in poorly drained soils. I prefer mazzard. One plus is that Wichita soils have quite a bit of sand content, which helps drainage.

I've no experience with Early Red Free, and have recently planted Allstar. I expect both will do fine for you on Bailey or Tenn. Natural.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 6:52PM
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Thanks olpea, LOL drainage is not one of my problems where I live. I have done some amending the last couple years, and now it does have some moisture holding capabilities, but the drainage is still good. My wife is Korean and you know how that goes, I am growing Asian pears if I have to tape store bought pears to the dead trees. I heard that shinko is resistant to fire blight is the reason I selected that one. Wichita at one time was peach capital of the world you know? DonÂt know what happened there, some say the ground water from the chemical company, maybe the tornadoÂs. I hope Adams or stark can supply these for a fall planting; I intend to place my order tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 8:49AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I thought you might have good drainage. Here drainage is a real issue. Soils can be so different in KS.

I wasn't paying attention on the cherry part of the order. I assumed you were ordering tart cherries when I talked about Mazzard rootstock. You wouldn't want sweet cherries on Mazzard. Even on Mahleb, their going to get pretty tall (which makes for hard picking). I would also be remiss if I didn't warn you that sweet cherries are a tough go in rainy climates. They get canker and die. One neighbor lost 4 out of 5 sweet cherry trees. Lastly, you are aware that sweet cherries require a complementary variety to set fruit? There are some self-pollinating sweets, but I'm not sure that Ulster is one of them. I don't know what will pollinate Ulster, but there are pollen compatibility charts on the internet.

I had heard at one time Kansas grew quite a bit of peaches. Michael says a very cold winter in the early 1900s took them all out. For some reason farmers didn't plant back. Maybe wheat and corn are just easier to grow.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 12:31PM
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Ok here is the deal, if you havn't figured it out yet I am new at this orchard thing. When I get my teeth into something I become a study freak to a fault. At any rate Adams appears to be done taking orders until spring. Stark will ship me items for a fall planting if it is potted, which they indicate on there site. The only cherries available is as fallows> Stark Gold sweet cherry cat# 3017, and 2 N 1 cat# 3000. I am wanting to order 1 of each, now the question is will these pollinate each other and I need to find out what root stock these might be on. I really want to have a fall planting for various reasons, feel free to talk me out of it. As far as the peaches freezing sound right. Some of the neighbors around me claim they cant get a peach tree to grow more then 5 yrs. They claim it is the ground what, I don't buy it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 1:19PM
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Ok let me back up here, I am incorrect! Stark will send me items for november planting, dormant trees. If I want to plant in september it must be one of there potted trees. Now that they are so tolerant of un egucated people lol I have a new direction for my new orchard. If you smart folks out there want to suggest dwarf fruit trees for me to start with here in wichita, I would much appreciate it. Apples, pears, sweet cherry and peachs. Do I sound like I am getting frustrated? LOL just a little bit. Starks nursery are truly nice folks.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 2:09PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)


Adams is taking orders for fall delivery. At least their Website is taking orders. They claim they ship in Nov.

I wouldn't order potted trees.

The nursery itself should be able to tell you what you need to pollinate their different cherry varieties.

Since you're new, you may want to consider slowing down until you have a chance to read some more. I know you're anxious to get trees in the ground. Maybe you could start out ordering 3 trees for this fall, instead of 8. Or maybe not order until Spring. There's really no advantage in planting in the fall anyway. Some people will tell you the roots of new transplants will grow during the fall/winter. I would not be in agreement with those people. I once dug up a fall planted fruit tree, in the spring, and could not tell any root growth had occurred.

The reason your neighbors are losing peach trees is because they are not taking care of them. Peach trees aren't like apples, peach trees require care. Mulching, water during dry months, full sun, spraying for leaf curl, etc.

As far as different rootstocks, a lot of people can help you on this forum. Generally asking specific questions generates more responses.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 3:59PM
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OK olpea your correct, I havn't taken my meds for a couple weeks I will slow down. I just want to thank everyone here for the help. I will post some picks of my sight and tree rings, mulch etc. Its ready to go just need trees, I do want to get started correctly and slowing down is the way. By the way I have a peach tree that is 4 yrs old and i pruned it using the perpenducular V It got frosted this year, but last year I had some peaches to talk about. Now that I am being specific and SLOW what is your thaughts on this pruning technique?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 4:12PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I pretty much don't like it. Keep in mind, I'm speaking from a back-yard perspective here. The primary advantage of the V system is quick production for large commercial growers. By planting in higher densities, production per acre is maximized early on. Traditional open-center trees are planted at much less density, and it takes a while for the canopy to fill in all that open space. However with high-density plantings, the canopy of open space is filled in much quicker. Remember fruit growing is really about harvesting light. The more the canopy fills in all the open space, the higher the yield/acre will be. A commercial grower wants that to happen as soon as possible.

However, for the backyard grower, these issues really fade in the background. I don't like the V because I like more than 2 scaffolds on my peach trees. Additionally, if the V is oriented to the prevailing north/south winds, the scaffold facing south will blow back into the tree from our strong south winds. It causes the south scaffold to grow straight up, instead of out. I also don't like the narrower crotch angles of the V system.

I'm sure there are probably people on this forum that love it, they probably have different circumstances. Each to his/her own.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 12:33PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

White gold and Black gold sweet cherries are claimed to be self-fruitful. Lapins is self fruitful. I would expect they would be more prolific if they had a pollinator of a different variety, though, and if you want to plant 2 sweet cherry trees, why not choose 2 varieties?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 2:34AM
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