Bare Root Fruit Tree Season is Here!

Yet another Internet “un-boxing.” This time fruit trees.

Our bare root fruit tree order just arrived from Bay Laurel Nursery. We ordered:

  • Tropic Snow Peach on Nemaguard rootstock
  • Panamint Nectarine on Citation rootstock
  • CoffeeCake (Nishimura Wase) Persimmon
  • Saijo Persimmon (pollinator for CoffeeCake)
  • Flavor Finale Pluot on Myrobalan 29C rootstock
  • Santa Rosa Plum on Citation rootstock (pollinator for the Flavor Finale Pluot)
  • Flavor Delight Aprium on Citation rootstock

The plan is to follow the Dave Wilson nursery’s backyard orchard culture guidelines which we blogged about in detail here. In short, you plant trees close together and prune the hell out of them to keep them small and manageable. We also used Dave Wilson’s handy fruit and nut harvest date chart to, as much as possible, assure that we have some kind of fruit ready to eat during most of the year. All of the varieties we chose have low chill hour requirements since we live in USDA zone 10.

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  1. Please post more about your persimmon as it starts to grow! We want to get a pair but they would be close to a pecan tree and the county agricultural extension said that the pecan tree puts off chenicals to kill nearby competing trees (we already lost 1 sapling).

  2. Sara,

    Yes indeed, pecan and walnut trees put off chemicals that kill some plants. This is why I’ve been begging Mrs. Homegrown to be allowed to remove the two native pecan trees we have in the backyard that came with the house. We’re planting the persimmons well away from those trees. In my experience some plants are tolerant of the pecans and others not. I have to remove the pecan leaves every autumn rather than compost them which I find annoying.

  3. Remove the pecan leaves from the compost?? Now you tell me! D’oh.

    I am really angry because when I bought the sapling the tree nursery knew I would be putting it close to the pecan and never said anything. Had to find out from the nice people at the ag extension a year later when my poor baby tree was dying.

    I have one area I want to try an espalier, but it is right up against the house and I worry the tree roots would mess up the house foundation. (We already have trouble with the foundation shifting.) I am thinking of trying again in a large container, but I am not sure if the tree would do well there.

    Anyway, please keep us updated on your new additions! I am excited to see how they turn out!

  4. Oh no! Bare root season here again, so soon!?!? That’s the time of year we typically rush to the nursery right at the tail end of the planting window and gather up a rag-tag group of trees and put them in the ground wherever we can find space, without so much as a long-term plan. Oh dear, oh dear. Well, thanks for the heads up–maybe this year we’ll be able to think things over and plan out our future orchard before getting to the hectic stage.

    Thanks for the blog too, by the way. Just came across is a couple weeks ago and have been enjoying.


  5. I have to get out and start pruning.Too bad there is a foot of snow on the ground.
    I’m a big proponent of BYOC .I’m glad I found your blog

  6. how exciting!! I can’t wait to have some land to plant fruit trees on 🙂 Hope it all goes well! How long until a harvest?

  7. Ditto for jealousy! We’re supposed to get 8″ of snow in the next day or so. My apple guilds will remain conceptual until April.

  8. Any advice on how to contain a peach tree that has gotten too huge? : I’d like to prune it back, but how much is too much? I’ve heard of overpruning where it nearly kills the tree.. or is it impossible to get it back down to a more ‘dwarf’ size?

  9. Mary:

    We’re not pruning experts by any means. But I’d say don’t be afraid to cut it back. Trees are tougher than we imagine. I think many of us fail to prune because we’re afraid to prune, then things get out of control.

    Please do visit the Dave Wilson link we gave in this post–it has lots of tips. My favorite is this quote: “Don’t let pruning decisions inhibit you or slow you down. There are always multiple acceptable decisions – no two people will prune a tree in the same way. You learn to prune by pruning!”

    Also, it’s hard to talk about pruning a tree we can’t see. How big is huge? Basically, I think you can hack a lot of it off on your own. Shorten the tallest limbs, thin it out by remove all sucker growth and limbs that cross or rub against each other or are just too close. Each branch needs airspace around it. Don’t be scared.

    But it’s a huge, huge tree and you need a chain saw to do the job, then maybe you should hire help (unless you’re good with a chainsaw). You should also know that if it has to be hacked back severely and you lose 2nd year wood, you’ll lose fruit production for 2 years–but it will come back.

  10. Sara A: Erik and I disagree on the pecan leaf issue. I used them for mulch and in compost for years before we learned about the pecan’s antisocial properties. And in that time I had no problems. I think the danger area is around the root zone of the trees, and that’s it. Erik has started treating the pecans like backyard nuclear reactors, and I figure if he wants to obsess on the leaves and stand out there raking them all the time, that’s his deal, but I really don’t think the leaves are bad.

    Meg: We should start seeing the first fruit in a couple of years. It’s hard to be patient!

  11. Flavor Finale Pluot is the most delicious piece of fruit ever. And I’m not just saying that because I “discovered” it. It’s edible by late August, but hangs for a long time, and really peaks in mid September in zone 9. I’m sure you won’t be able to resist blogging about the first bite.

  12. Actually, we didn’t have great luck with planting our fruit trees close together. We placed them in pairs with about 1 foot between them and invariably one tree would out compete the other, even with heavy pruning, and Gordon is a good pruner. I think it probably works best if they are ideally sited, facing south and getting equal amounts of sun. We couldn’t provide the ideal so we finally separated the surviving losers from the winners and gave them another spot, not a great spot but at least they are no longer being bullied. Our espaliered trees are 3-4 feet apart and that seems to work fine.

  13. Pingback: Fruit Tree Update: Flavor Delight Aprium | Root Simple

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