WHERE to plant the fruit trees?

I posted our 25 fruit and nut trees along with their descriptions and they are scheduled to arrive next week.

In my experience, most problems are caused by either WEATHER or CRITTERS.

We hope to eventually cover the entire orchard, but several trees will be planted outside.  Most likely the cherry, peach, nectarine and plum trees will be in the orchard.  The apple and apricot trees on the north side of the property and the nut trees east of the orchard.

While our Fuji apple blooms and sets fruit every year, we have yet to get a single apple.

It blooms, the wind blows, it freezes, the wind blows, and blows, we see a few little apples …. and then they’re gone.   This year the Arizona reeds north of the Fuji should be tall enough to protect it from the wind and hopefully will also keep it a little warmer.

I’d like to put the most vulnerable trees in the middle of the orchard and have more hardy varieties along the outside.

Since the direction of the wind changes from predominantly north to south sometime in spring, it would be so helpful to know WHEN the trees will bloom.  One of our cherries:

Royal Rainier Cherry – Semi-dwarf

Large, yellow cherry with slightly more red blush than Rainier. Excellent flavor, taste test winner. Ripens early, about 3-5 days ahead of Rainier. Pollenizer required: Lapins for low chill areas and in other areas, any sweet cherry. Moderate chill requirement, 500 hours estimated. Available on Colt.

What exactly does “ripens early” mean?  Since I don’t have a Rainier “about 3-5 days ahead of Rainier” means nothing to me.

Of course I realize that it depends on the weather when trees bloom, so you can’t predict when fruit trees “wake up”.  Last spring was so mild, our grapes were flowering by late April when we had another hard frost and they promptly froze.

While I also want to know when the fruit ripens, it’s just as important to know when trees flower.

Sure wish I could have ordered more like the Flora Gold Apricot:

… More consistently productive than many other apricots due to being less susceptible to dropping flowers in areas with considerable difference in spring day and nighttime temperatures.

Should have ordered a few months ago, before they were 80% sold out.

I’m also concerned with location for the trees requiring pollinators.  If a tree flowers while the wind still blows from the north, the pollinator should be north of the tree to be pollinated.

Some trees are “interfruitful.”

But then again, maybe I shouldn’t put all the peaches in the same area because peach specific pests and diseases would be less likely to spread.

Have to make these decisions before the trees arrive next week.

3 Responses to WHERE to plant the fruit trees?

  1. Christine, the Experimental Orchard in LV has theirs all in the same area I believe. So are the apple and peach trees supposed to have east west acclimation with the winds pollinating from the north or south?

  2. Christine, I’m thinking about the fruit tree flowers blooming and the way the wind blows. Don’t they usually start blooming in April? At least that’s what I have noticed of all the ornamental trees in Kingman. I would take a guess and think that the winds are still going from north to south at that time.

  3. I really don’t know how to best plant for optimal pollination. When deciding on where to plant I walk around with a 10 ft plastic pipe to quickly see how much space I need. Most of our trees will be only about 10′ to 12′ apart.

    I know in orchards they usually plant trees according to variety. I just wonder why that is. I think in the documentary “Permaculture Orchard” they planted according to when fruit gets ripe. That makes sense to me, the trees to harvest are close together, you don’t have to run all over the orchard. Since our orchard is much smaller, that’s not an issue for us.

    I forgot to mention hardware cloth to keep gophers out. We’ll probably dig a ditch around the outside of the orchard and line it with hardware cloth. Have to do some digging anyway to plant various pollinators and nitrogen fixers.

    For the trees outside we started digging about 4ft wide SHALLOW holes (unlike the 3.5 ft deep holes in the orchard.) The latest research shows better success with digging a hole just deep enough for the root ball, but WIDE.

    So we’ll run the hardware cloth as far away from the roots as possible. I hate to have to restrict the tree roots. I found the best deal for hardware cloth at Mohave Rancho in Dolan Springs. I’m going to have to do a post on HOW to plant too because there’s so much to consider. Hopefully tomorrow.

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