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Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 8, 14 at 21:19

Sadly they got them a few days ago and they all got exposed to the snow, sleet, thaw re-freeze and of course the single digits and below zero wind chills. I really hate it because they have some varieties that i would get right now if not for that. I picked up a honeycrisp apple and moved it from the group and when I set it down it sounded like dropping a brick onto the concrete.

So do I chance getting them since HD has a one year guarantee or wait until someone else has a later delivery of trees.

They and walmart have gotten their seed racks up and even most of the normal root and bulb plants they sell in those bags.

Mike


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Mike, I likely wouldn't chance it with stone fruit trees because they're less hardy than pome trees. With apple trees? I don't even know if I would chance it then, and here's why.

Fruit trees can tolerate quite a lot of cold weather when they are fully dormant, provided they are hardened off to the cold before it arrives. That's why you'll sometimes see cold damage on fruit trees when the first blast of real winter cold arrives after a relatively warm autumn---the trees got slammed by that big blast of cold before they could gradually harden off to cold temperatures over a longer period of cool to cold autumn weather.

With the trees that have arrived at the stores now, we have no idea how hardened off to cold they were before they were shipped to the stores. Maybe they were grown and kept, for example, in high tunnels with some degree of protection from the cold. You just have no way of knowing.

If your stores up there are like the ones down here where I live, the fruit trees will arrive in successive shipments through at least April, and that's why I'd rather wait and buy trees from a later shipment. I prefer to wait for containerized trees to leaf out before I buy them. I've bought some before they clearly had frozen while in the containers, and I had no way of knowing that until they failed to leaf out in spring.

The stores here have had cool-season flower, herb and veggie transplants for weeks and weeks now, and I haven't bought a thing. I'm not liking this February weather and I haven't even bought any cool-season transplants of anything yet. I feel like we are going to stay cooler or colder than average later than average this year, so I've really but the brakes on my desire to get the garden year started. Sometimes it makes more sense to wait a little bit longer. I feel like this is one of those years.

Wind chill does not affect trees the way it affects humans, but I feel like it does affect the fruit trees in certain ways, so I'd hesitate to buy a young tree that was exposed to the kinds of wind chills that some parts of OK have experienced the last few weeks. Even more importantly, if your relative humidity values were very low during that period, then the wind chills and cold temps likely were very hard on the young fruit trees in containers. Remember that roots and other plant parts that are relatively dry are more likely to suffer significant cold damage than those that were moist, and you have no way of knowing if that shipment of trees was well-watered and had moist soil or if they were dry.

Dawn


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 17:24

Thanks Dawn. Youre always a voice of reason. The folks at the Fruits and Orchard forum all pretty much said to not worry but you are right. Why chance it when there will be other batches come in. Ill just need to be diligent and watchful so I get my pick. Seems like years past all the good trees are gone quick.

this weekend is looking like a decent weekend to put in some onions maybe. Saturday into next Wednesday shows 60 for highs so maybe the cold is letting loose just a little

mike


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Those folks at the Fruit and Orchard forum know so much more than I do about growing fruit that you might ought to listen to them. But, on the other hand, sometimes it is hard for other folks who might live in an area with somewhat more consistent weather to understand how our constantly/rapidly changing weather can harm trees if they don't have that sort of weather themselves.

I know we have had some weeks in recent years (2010? 2011?) where temperatures went from 20 or 30 below zero to 50 or 60 degrees in the same week. That sort of wild temperature swing can cause damage not seen in areas where the weather more consistently moves from hot to cold or from cold to hot and more or less stays there. However, that year I kind of think that once it warmed up, it stayed warm....or at least it did down here at my end of the state.

I tend to be conservative with fruit tree plantings and always err of the side of caution because our winter weather is so erratic.


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Those folks at the Fruit and Orchard forum know so much more than I do about growing fruit that you might ought to listen to them. But, on the other hand, sometimes it is hard for other folks who might live in an area with somewhat more consistent weather to understand how our constantly/rapidly changing weather can harm trees if they don't have that sort of weather themselves.

I know we have had some weeks in recent years (2010? 2011?) where temperatures went from 20 or 30 below zero to 50 or 60 degrees in the same week. That sort of wild temperature swing can cause damage not seen in areas where the weather more consistently moves from hot to cold or from cold to hot and more or less stays there. However, that year I kind of think that once it warmed up, it stayed warm....or at least it did down here at my end of the state.

I tend to be conservative with fruit tree plantings and always err of the side of caution because our winter weather is so erratic.


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 14, 14 at 13:09

I Can't believe I didn't notice this earlier but the trees were grown by BFN in Hulbert OK so I assume they had them outside while dormant and saw the same temps there. I think I'll wait and see what Lowes gets because I know they get most of there garden plants from BFN also. Maybe Lowes told them to wait just a bit longer. Typically lowes is cheaper anyways.

I drove by BFN a few times and wow that place is huge. It would be cool to just drive around there.

Mike


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Can I ask what type of fruit trees you're getting? We have a space on the north side of our home and I wondered if I have enough room for a dwarf fruit tree of some sort. I'll have to measure the area, but it's one of the only areas in my back yard without cables/electric lines running through it. I also have a spot in the front yard where I could possibly plant a fruit tree, as well. I was thinking either cherry or apple trees of some kind, but I'd love input since you are in my same zone area (7a). Thanks!


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 17:47

Dawn

I went ahead and just now got a Fuji apple from them. I couldnt wait, LOL. Ill know in a few months or sooner if it got damaged and with the 1 year guarantee i wont be out anything but time and digging a hole. Also Lowes got theirs in yesterday. I picked up a Gala apple and an O henry peach. I had a well thought out plan to get the same varieties they have in Porter but that plan didnt work out when i missed ordering from Fruit tree farm and they already sold out. so now I have a Ranger, Elberta(both on clearance for $5) and now an O henry. I may add a Red Haven but probably not this year.

I was hesitant to try apples because of the cedar rust but my Daughter loves apple so much that Im gonna do my best. I know the types I got are not to resistant but we like them and the ones that are resistant I just dont care for. I hate growing something I dont like.

Okielady.

Even a dwarf tree can reach 10 feet plus. I plan to maintain mine at a height I can reach off a small step stool or the ground. 8 feet or less is my plan. It requires pruning about 2-3 times per year if they are vigorous. This my first year with apples and peaches so take my advice lightly but it does seem to be the preferred practice amongst the backyard orchard community.

Mike


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Mike, It probably will be fine. I looked at containerized fruit trees in stores near me before and after we had bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills and couldn't see any discerable damage--like frozen-back tips on branches, etc.

I am not big on pruning, but I tried hard with the plum trees to prune them well in the early years so they would develop a nice wide bowl shape that lets lots of sunshine reach all the branches equally. That worked out well and they are pretty, but I haven't pruned them much in recent years. They are around 10' tall, so I have to use a ladder to harvest the uppermost fruit, but I love the fruit so much that I don't mind climbing that ladder. Once you get them the shape and size you want them, the pruning required is fairly minimal. I don't spray them for anything and I get a good harvest in any year in which the weather doesn't hit the 80s in February (like it did here a couple of days ago) and make them bloom too early.

I have a friend on our street who grows pie apples and he doesn't do much maintenance on his tree either. His biggest challenge is keeping the deer from eating his apples, and to discourage them, he keeps a radio in the tree turned on at night. It is in a zip-lock bag that is zipped shut except where the cord comes out of the bag in order to protect the radio from rainfall and such. If his trees ever has had cedar apple rust, he's never mentioned it. My other apple-growing friend has never mentioned having CAR on his tree either, but he has lots of problems with coddling moths.

I just know if I planted an apple tree, it would get CAR every year because we have neighbors on three sides who have let their property become completely and totally infested with cedar trees. I walk out the door at look at those trees and silently will them to die every day .....and it doesn't work. I wish the racoons who spend the whole summer eating my sweet corn would develop a taste for cedar trees.

Dawn


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Hunting for an unrelated item on Craigs list led me to a post where a local firefighter was advertising his voluntary services to come out to someone's property, cut down and haul off cedar trees. All on his dime. All on his own time.

"Because I hate them." he wrote


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

Wow, Bon! Bless his heart. He needs to hook up with some type of cedar association and see if he can at least make some kind of money off of his good deeds!

I don't know if the OK Association ever really got off the ground, but if someone could make a market, Oklahoma definitely has the natural resources! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Aromatic Cedar Association


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RE: Home depot has Fruit trees now.

lol

I understand why he hates them. They worsen wildfires and the accompanying danger that firefighters face so much.

That man deserves a medal.


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