Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fruit Trees

Last August my husband and I bought a house on a double lot with a dozen fruit trees. I could identify the peaches and mulberries by their leaves, growth pattern and wood, but there are some mystery trees I won't be able to identify for sure until they produce fruit.

A few of the peach trees are beginning to bloom now, and a couple of the mystery trees. I'm guessing that the two mystery trees blooming now may be Asian pears (see photo above).

A couple of the trees had root stocks that had grown larger than the scion cultivar. I think one of these trees may survive; the other was quite dead. A couple of the peach trees were being smothered by rampant hackberry saplings. I cut back the hackberries in the fall, the the peach trees are blooming nicely this spring.

I'd like to put in more fruit trees, so as to have a steady harvest of fruit from spring through fall. I've planted Ein Shemer and Anna apples against the fence on the north side of the property and will prune them in a tiered espalier pattern. I've brought 3 loquat seedlings from my San Antonio garden, and I'd like to put in a couple of persimmon and a pomegranite and jujbe, and I'm going to try a jostaberry, but I don't have very high hopes for it in this warm climate.
Here's a nice article on pruning peach trees for high-density planting: This is in the context of commercial orchards but might be useful for the home gardener who wants to plant a wider variety of fruit trees in a limited space.

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