Fruit tree list for backyard garden

timbotoo77December 14, 2012

I am new to this forum and new to growing grafted fruit trees. In the past i have grown full sized trees and would like to again grow fruit for the grandkids of course. I have been in contact with a nursery staff and would like input on a possible list of trees I am considering. Any comment or suggestions on pollination problems or variety problems would be appreciated. I am located in Kentucky and am trying to choose the hardiest varieties for my garden which has heavy clay soils but is fertile enough to grow good vegetables. Here is the list I am considering:

Apple:

Sansa
Winecrisp TM (Co-op 31)

Pear:

Aurora
Potomac

Cherry:

Montmorency
White Gold

Plum:

Castleton
Vanier

Any suggestions greatly appreciated. One other pear is considered Harrow Delight as an alternate for 1 of the other 2

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glib(5.5)

I can not comment on pears and plums, but the apples/cherries selection looks good. I would eat the pears through the fall and then eat the apples in winter, so I would get storage apples instead of the fresh eating varieties you selected. Sansa will not keep, and I think Winecrisp is, too, a Fall apple. May I suggest a Goldrush, if you are in Zone 6 or higher, and maybe Ashmead Kernel?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 5:25PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Per Purdue, Winecrisp is supposed to be a decent keeper (9 mths). Mine on G11 hasn't born fruit (3rd leaf this spring) and hasn't grown all that well, compared to the other varieties in the row. But, I do recall that hole filling a little at the bottom with water during planting, so that could be it too..

Regardless, I heartily agree with Glib on Goldrush. In Kentucky it should have a long enough season to get very good.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 7:20PM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

Tim,

Hardiness should not be an issue with the type of fruits you mention. KY is warm enough to grow just about any temperate fruits. As a general rule, hardiness starts to become a consideration for temperate fruits in Zone 5 or colder. You're probably in Zone 7.

The plums you've chosen will not pollenize one another. Castleton is a European plum and Vanier is an Asian type plum.

Sweet cherries can be difficult to grow in humid climates. Bacterial canker and fruit cracking are the most problematic in the southeast. Make sure White Gold has good resistance against these before planting it.

Montmorency is a decent cherry for cooking, but know that it is very tart. For fresh eating there are sweeter "tart" cherries if you want a little more sugar in your cherries. One of the sweet tarts I grow is Balaton, not as sweet as a sweet cherry, but sweeter than Montmorency.

Aurora probably isn't a good pear selection for you. Fire blight is a pretty big deal in KY and Aurora is listed as highly susceptible. There are lots of good fire blight resistant pears, so there's no reason to plant highly susc. varieties.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:45PM
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glib(5.5)

The reasons for suggesting Goldrush are many: it is an exquisite apple, although tart, and extremely tart off the tree. It is in its prime starting mid-december (after mellowing) and until the cherries start producing. It is disease resistant, a small, easy to manage tree, and an excellent pollinator for late apples. You may consider having both trees of this variety.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:26PM
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timbotoo77

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, especially about the plum cross fertilization. It is always interesting when dealing with vendors regarding specific questions to find that they too have a lack of knowledge regarding their plants. After 3 phone calls and 3 emails I finally found that the two plums would not work together and changed one of them. The knowledge and help in and from this forum is impressive.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 11:26AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

glib,

You may consider having both trees of this variety.

Are you saying that Goldrush is self-pollinating? Will timbotoo77 not need two different apples for pollination?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:43PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

glib,

You may consider having both trees of this variety.

Are you saying that Goldrush is self-pollinating? Will timbotoo77 not need two different apples for pollination?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:45PM
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glib(5.5)

You are right. On top of it, Goldrush is a choice pollinator, but only for late blooming apples. So yes, another tree, and it has to be mid- or late-blooming. A pollination chart can be found here:

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.acnursery.com/acn_apple.php

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 5:15PM
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alan haigh

I would not consider sweet cherries in an 8 tree orchard in KY. I live in NY state where cherries are viable enough to be grown commercially to a limited degree but they are not a species that is reliable because any rain near harvest tends to cause them to crack, although white gold has some resistance to this, I gather. The fruit requires thorough netting to keep it from the birds- even yellow cherries. They also take a long time to come into production and are difficult to train.

Blake's Pride is supposed to be a high quality FB resistant pear.

I agree with comments about Goldrush. If you like sweet apples just wait until it's a couple of months out of storage. I like tart ones and prefer it off the tree but it becomes quite sweet if properly ripened on the tree and put in cool storage. Even a root cellar is adequate to keep it firm fleshed and sound for six months.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 6:10AM
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