Seeking advice for great fruit trees in NW Riverside county

wheelfam(10a)August 3, 2014

The husband and I recently removed our screening trees (Carolina Cherry) from a 5' x 50' area as they had reached the end of their life cycle and we've decided to put in fruit trees. We live in Eastvale/Norco on land that was once dairy farm - so from what I hear, the soil may be rather alkaline. We'd really like peach, nectarine, maybe a cherry and a couple apples (if they'll produce well) - my personal fave is a gala apple. We want big, juicy fruit for our family. What would you recommend? Also, we need to make sure the roots aren't too terribly invasive as this area is next to a wooden fence on one side and a concreted area on the other and we don't want lifting.

Please send your feedback as we really want to make sure we do this right. Note: we put in a semi dwarf peach and lemon tree a couple years ago and they don't produce. (Got one 3" peach this year), and we put in an apricot last summer and it seems to be adjusting well. We have a new colony of bees in a box which should help our endeavors (fingers crossed!)

Thanks for your help!

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

The Anna Apple was bred in Israel for heat. We have one here (two now) in Riverside county. Anyone who comes here and tastes it says it's the best apple they have ever had. You won't find it at a grocery store.

Harvest is in June., and it's loaded with blossoms now. Sometimes you get two harvests.

It is crisp, sweet with a nice tang. It should be picked green with a little pink blush on one side. If you let it get red, you will have a mushy apple. It makes great pies, and is excellent eaten fresh.

It needs a pollinator like Golden Dorset to give it's apples a good shape. Without that, they are a little wonky and lopsided. We don't have the pollinator, but it's ok. I can deal with large, lopsided apples!

i can't help you with the other fruits you would like to plant. Someone will.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:35PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I would recommend a Fuji and a Cripps (Pink Lady) for fall apples. The Anna and Golden Dorsett are nice apples, but not nearly as delicious as the Fuji/Cripps combo. If you have space for all 4, you'll have spring and fall apples. If you like Gala, you'll LOVE Fuji. In my opinion, it is much better tasting, and much along the lines of Gala. Anna will produce without pollination, but will be cylindrical in shape, or as Suzi mentions, a little wonky from either no pollination (skinny long apples), to partial pollination (wonky). So, that is a nice feature of the Anna - it will produce without pollination (parthenocarpic).

As far as stone fruits, you have lots of great choices. I would go to Dave Wilson Nursery's web site, and check out the options there. If you like cherries, try a Minnie Royal and a Royal Lee (both needed for cross pollination). Lots and lots of great nectarine, plum, peach and interspecific options, almost too many to list. Talk to your local high-end garden center regarding the choices they bring in each year for bare root season, and you can also see if they participate in the SOFT program, which allows an individual to place special orders for varieties that perhaps that garden center might not normally stock or carry.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave Wilson Nursery

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:22PM
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Thank you so much Patty and desertdance! The advice is appreciated. Will these trees be safe planted next to a fence and cemented area without the roots lifting either?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:59PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Most semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstocks have rather shallow root systems, but, with any tree, you need to give it enough space to grow. It really depends on how close the cement area is. I would read up on the various rootstocks and see if you can find the best option for your location.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:14PM
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Puggylover Zone 9B Norco, CA

Good Morning Wheelfam~

Excellent information has been provided above. I myself have all of those apple trees :). Freeze and can applesauce every year. Love them all. I added a Sundowner apple tree to the mix last year so fingers crossed.

I have over 50 fruit trees that are still quite young so I don't have a lot of types to recommend yet but so far in the peach department Eva's Pride is an awesome piece of fruit that will produce even with less than 100 chill hours. Last year our area received exactly that....less than 100 chill hours! Horrible year for fruit trees. This tree was my only great producer (Along with Anna and Dorset Golden apples).

I would also think about successive ripening with your trees. If you plan it out right you can have all types of fruit year round. It is wonderful!

Dave Wilson Nursery website is loaded with information, I have read and reread it at least a 1000 times absolutely love it. Check them out on their You Tube channel as well for tons of videos that teach everything from start to finish.

Happy planting and get ready to join FTA (Fruit Tree Anonymous)!


Pic is of Eva's Pride this year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:21PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Oh Jennifer, what a lovely photo of your garden. Wheelfam, Jennifer is in your neck of the woods. I would follow her advice for good cultivars. I get an oddly high number of chill hours, compared to surrounding areas due to my microclimate, so I can grow a few more things that others who might just be a mile or two away from me. Plus, Jennifer can recommend some very good nursery centers who order the correct cultivars for your area as well. You can put in your order for bare root trees in advance (as in right now), for delivery in January/February. Lovely photos, great garden.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Santa Rosa plums. I'm not sure which is the most delicious fruit in the world- mango or SRP. You will NEVER buy them as good as off the tree. I must have eaten 10 pounds of plums a friend gave me over two weeks- not a one was wasted..crunchy skin,much flavor and taste. Chilled out of the fridge SRP on hot summer day- just too good to describe.

Apricots..up there on the list too.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 5:34PM
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