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.  Then 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 blooms 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.