Montmorency question

mrsg47(7)December 1, 2012

Hi all, I have really had my ups and downs with my Montmorency cherry, but mostly downs. The cherry tree arrived five years ago with a cherry on it! The next year it blossomed and produced 88 cherries. Since then next to no blooms, or if there are blooms the early set fruit drops. Last summer I must have had 20 cherries on the tree and left them for the birds. I did taste two and they were delish! What am I not doing??? I spray only what it needs. Fertilized once in the spring. The tree is wonderfully healthy and has a five inch in diameter sturdy trunk. The tree is too beautiful to cut down. (never thought I'd ever say that) Mrs. G

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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)


Just give it some more time. In my last house,I had a Mont. cherry so loaded that the birds had a hay day.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Thanks Tony, my orchard just gets so frustrating some time. I love it though, there isn't day I'm not in the orchard! I too relax there. My Dad was a heart surgeon, so I have a very good idea of what you do all day long! I have noticed this past fall, however, a few trees on larger limbs have what looks like bacterial canker. I have no idea how this can happen as my trees are on a fairly strict spray schedule. I just feel as if I'm always battling a disease, borer, or fungus. Not unlike the hospital! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:46AM
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MrsG - This years crop may be affected by the drought/mild winter we had here in NA?

Have you thought about getting fruit trees bred from your state Uni/college?

The way I see it is, sure, many trees will be generally "resistant" to a plethora of diseases and pests, as a general rule, but they are still bred in different areas.

For instance: Macintosh apple was bred from a seedling found in S Ontario. Its safe to say that that tree itself is generally adapted to that area. You cant always expect that a Macintish will do well in, say, Colorado. The growing conditions are different, as are pests and disease.

If you try to get trees from your state Uni, or ones that were bread in your general area, one can assume they are better adapted/bred for your area.

Im trying to use this logic myself. My Honeygold apple was bred in Minnisota ( less then 4 hours south from me). I generally have the same climate conditions as them, and general same growing conditions. Im theory, it will have a better chance here, and be more resistant to the diseases around my area.

Here is something that may be "fruit" for thought" :D

Here is a video made by Sepp Holzer. He is an austrian farmer from 1500M (roughly 3000 feet) up in the austrian mountains. He grows food, fruit and even some palm trees. The conditions are similar (not the same) as you, in ways. It might give you a few ideas

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:04AM
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I truly enjoyed the film on permaculture, however, I live at 'sea level' which is not quite the Austrian alps. I select my trees through recommendation of what works in my zone, taste and through programs such as Cornell and Rutgers. I have found that their apple trees are well suited for my zone and resistant to many diseases. I am close to the Univ. of RI. dept of Hort. During the summer I receive weekly reports on what is going on in my area, as to fungus, insects, etc. Also, the gentleman in the film has acres of land. I live in a city with one acre. I do wonder how he grows lemons. Probably for one season then he replants? Thanks for the info and thoughts. It was definite 'fruit for thought'! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Wow, I got you confused with someone else here LOL Im sorry, half the info doesnt pertain to you :( I thought you lived in colorado!

The way he does the lemon trees (IIR) may help you in some ways though. He plants ALL trees on their own roots. That much I know. I think it has something to do with disease prevention ( no mixing wood and no open wounds means less chance of infection) and has something to do with the stronger roots ( according to him).

He usually plants them on terraces. Building them with thick rock walls to retain heat over the winter, and heat it up faster in spring. I also believe he places rocks near the roots like a heat sink.

He would also utilize micro climate, as in planting on southern slops, or in front of a south facing cliff face or large boulder. You could do this in your yard, if you havnt already. Just plant less hardy trees against a stone wall or raised bed with rock walls. I have read a paper on colonists growing pommegranate espalier against a south wall, flowered and fruited.

The real basis behind his methods is basically utilizing the microclimates available. And seeing as hes in mountain terrain, and has acres upon acres, this is a very easy thing to achieve.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:24AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Mrs. G,

I have an idea for your cherry delima. You can bark graft one of the branch with Carmine Jewel cherry from the Romance series. At least that way you can have the best of both world. If that idea interest you, just drop me an email in late January and we can swap something.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Tony, I've nevered grafted before but would love to try. Yes, that is great news. I'll start looking into the tools and supplies I will need. Many thanks, daughter of a chest breaker! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:06AM
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