Fruit trees/successive ripening in AZ

aliaubOctober 14, 2013

We are in the process of making our backyard a clean slate. We want to plant several fruit trees and a garden. I know the types of trees I want and had planed on planting 3 trees in one hole (Backyard Orchard Culture) but was told that may not be the best idea. This had appealed to us because we liked the idea of having an extended ripening season. I'd like to can/preserve fruit and the idea of having huge amounts of peaches all in one month is overwhelming! My question is, how do I get the successive ripening without BYOC? Multi-grafted trees? Or has anyone had success with BYOC? We have a somewhat limited space and I'd like several types of fruit (apples, plums, peaches and citrus).

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

There have been many posts here on BYOC. My personal view is three peaches in one hole will work fine for you. Prune out any crossing branches, and read up on summer pruning and how to effectively thin and winter prune peach trees -- you need to remove a third or more of the wood. Pruning is always a challenge, whether you are using BYOC or not.

My BYOC method is closely spaced rows, I have 40 or so peach varieties in about 100' of row. Peaches are relatively forgiving for BYOC, they are easy to prune into a good shape.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you start with pakistani mulberry in June, you end with oranges or avocado in december. Going through figs, peaches, pomegranate. Since the trees are all different, one tree one hole, please. If you plant an avocado with a peach you will get a dead peach tree.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Fruitnut tipped me off to your post. You do not say where in Arizona you are so I will keep my comments general.

I am only in the beginning of my third year in BYOC. I have well over 200 fruit and nut trees planted in a half acre that includes a 2,200sq ft. home in a flood irrigated lot.

Planting trees together in a hole works well as far as growth goes. It is still too early to say about fruit production as only a dozen or so trees (mostly peach/nectarine) set fruit their second season and I stripped all of those off as soon as I spotted them as the trees are too young to be fruiting.

Have the people who are dissing BYOC tried it?---I bet not. They simply go with the claim that trees must be planted 10 or more feet apart, blah, blah, blah. Nothing like 800+ peaches on a tree that you have to get eaten/processed/given away within 10 days period before it rots!

High density planting works in Phoenix. Greg Peterson at Urban Farm has over 80 fruit trees on his 1/3 acre (with 1,750 sq ft home) most planted three feet apart along boundary lines. But I do not think he has any multiples to a hole. If you are in the Phoenix area you can ask him tomorrow (Wednesday). Be warned, he is whom got me started---I only attended a class of his 3 years ago to plant maybe 2-4 trees, and look at me now.

Basically the limits IMHO are soil (usually not as bad as people always claim, the summer, if you go with tropicals the winter depending upon the temps it gets at your place, your current resources, your planned resources, how you lay things out, the varieties (cultivars) and species you chose and the rootstocks you get them upon and finally your practices. The results are dependent upon proper pruning and a reasonable amount of observation and care (fertilizing and pesticide).

In addition to the two links above, the other resources are Googling both your County Cooperative Extension and Master Gardeners. The Arizona Rare Fruit Growers as well if in Phoenix area. And I rather like local nurseries as well for answering pest, and other questions appropriate to your area.

edit: I suppose I should make it clear almost all of my fruit trees are planted 4 to a hole, 18" apart and 7' between holes. My target height is 8'. I keep rootstocks and species the same in a hole if I can, but not seems to work too. You can plant trees within 6" of one another effectively growing them into a single trunk down the line, and straight up or slightly angled out from one another. Tom Spellman prefers 3' apart for easier pruning. I cluster cross pollinating close to make it easy on the insects.

If you live in the zone 9b and 10 areas, and possibly the 9a areas, there is no summer pruning. Once it hits above 85F the trees stop growing so there is no need to prune in the summer. You prune just before summer to let some air and light into the canopy by keep in mind shading the trunk is numero uno. Paint trees white with water based latex (50% diluted works too) to protect from sunburn. Heavy organic mulch at least 4" to protect roots from temps and desiccation and improve soil life and fertility---I use predominately wood chips.

I have not had a great deal of success with nut trees. I have pecans for a primary canopy and almonds for a western shade on the house.

Remember self fruitful is great but across pollinator usually produces more and larger fruit. In some cases more seeds.

If you live in zone 8/9/10 Arizona you can grow darned near anything except some berries without too much fuss. The sky is the limit. And with proper selection you can have both year round gardening and fresh fruit.

Here is another BY orchard class on the 26th in the Phoenix area, by one of the most ingenious people I have met:

Here is a link that might be useful: You might want to start reading here

This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 15:27

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Scott and Fascist Nation, thanks so much for the replies. I'm in Gilbert, AZ zone 9a and am wanting peaches, apples, plums, nectarines and some citrus. I'm also intrigued by the Royal Lee and Minnie dwarf cherry trees but I'm trying to find out from others how their trees are doing. Many have said they do well here as they are low chill even though they don't fruit for 4- 5 years. I'm thinking the citrus will be one tree in a single hole but it's the others I want to do BYOC planting. We moved in to a house late last year and just finished removing the previous landscaping (posted free ads on CL and people dug up and replanted at their house) and I'm currently trying to map out the tree/garden space but I can't seem to get a plan in place because I keep getting conflicting info! I was 100% set on BYOC until I was told that last week. I'm going to def read your posts again and read the material you suggested. I've never heard of Greg Peterson so I will look at his site now. Do either of you have pictures of your space that you could post? I like the sound of your single row peach planting, Scott. As my original post said, I want to can the fruit so we can have it most of the year and it's very time consuming which is why I really like the idea of successive ripening.

And fascist nation, you post was not general at all but beyond helpful. I'm thrilled with your success here in the Valley and am encouraged. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. We have a 750 sf blank canvas and a few other areas in the backyard that we want to utilize as best we can. I want my yard to work for me and give back!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just an update... Fascist Nation, I went to Greg's whole foods discussion and am sold! So thankful that you mentioned him and the class he was holding. It was just the info I was looking for.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 7:45PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Blueberry help!
What's going on with this blueberry bush? Is it going...
KNNN espalier planting
Hi - I just planted some 1 year bare root apple trees....
Jamie Cartwright
Root control bag to control Mulberry tree size
Hi, I am planning to use a root control bag to limit...
Help understanding huckleberries
I recently enjoyed some huckleberry pie and was pleasantly...
Can I store apple rootstock in the fridge?
I'll be getting a couple apple rootstocks the first...
Sponsored Products
Resonance Centerpiece by Alessi
$295.00 | Lumens
Fruit Medley Opal Rectangular: 5 Ft. 4 In. x 7 Ft. 8 In. Rug
$199.00 | Bellacor
Linear Bowl Set
$23.99 | zulily
Breadman TR2500BC Ultimate Plus 2-lb. Automatic Bread Maker - 740057002717
$99.99 | Hayneedle
Belmont Wreath
Grandin Road
Dansk Christianshavn Blue Fruit/Cereal Bowl
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Home Decorators Collection Rugs Fruit Garden
Home Depot
Branches Tray
| Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™