Our Favorite Fruit Trees

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Feb 17, 2016 10:45:48 AM

Growing your own fruit at home is so rewarding, and it's not nearly as difficult as it may seem. There are a range of fruiting trees and shrubs ideal for every situation. 

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Unsure of what to plant and where? Check out our list of fruiting trees, shrubs and vines grouped by relative water needs:

High Water

  • Avocados: dense surface-rooting tendencies cause Avocados to thrive in evenly moist soils, but they will not tolerate waterlogged, poor-draining soil. 
  • Blueberries: do best in our climate when planted in afternoon shade, with three-to-four inches of mulch to help slow the evaporation of water from the soil. 
  • Cane Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, etc): thrive if provided mulch that is three-to-four inches thick, leaving a space of at least three feet from the base of the plant. 

Medium Water

The following varieties can take longer periods between watering, but shouldn't be allowed to completely dry out. 

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Peaches/Nectarines

blood_orange_fruit2-resized-600-085701-edited.jpgMedium-Low Water

Medium-low water fruit producing plants can be allowed to dry out between watering, provided they have a three-to-four-inch thick layer of mulch, spread out to at least two feet outside the width of the canopy. 

  • Almonds: good drought tolerance, but extended dry period will reduce crop size.
  • Apricots: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Citrus: once established, adapt well to low-water conditions.
  • Persimmons: will thrive with occasional deep watering. 
  • Pineapple Guava: very well adapted to extended dry periods.
  • Plums: the best stone fruit for low-water conditions, sufficient mulch will ensure a decent crop size.
  • Pistachios: very well adapted to low-water conditions. However, reduced water will slow growth rate.

Low Water 

ww_fruit_tree-019496-edited.jpgThe following varieties thrive when allowed to dry out between watering, without sacrificing the quality of fruit. 

  • Figs: able to tolerate long periods of drought and still bear an acceptable crop.
  • Grapes: thrive in low-water conditions, if grown with minimal irrigation, although the crop size will be smaller and fruit can be sweeter. 
  • Pomegranates: prefer dry conditions, although fruit size may be affected, but not severely. 
  • Olives: requires dry conditions. Severe water constrictions will affect growth rate, but not appearance. 

 

 

 

 

Did you know? You can plant up to four deciduous fruit trees (such as nectarines, apples, plums, etc.) in a single hole using a revolutionary training system pioneered by Dave Wilson Nursery known as Backyard Orchard Culture. 

Backyard Orchard Culture in a nutshell:

  • Choose dwarf trees whenever possible
  • Select varieties which will ripen successively, rather than all at once
  • Plant multiple trees in a single hole
  • Prune your trees year 'round to control their size
Learn more about how to maximize your fruit harvest without sacrificing yield or quality: Backyard Orchard Culture

Topics: Edibles, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees, Citrus

Last Minute Father's Day Gifts

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jun 19, 2015 12:45:00 PM

Father's Day is upon us.  A few short days to get your dad a gift he will remember and use.  If you need some quick yet thoughtful ideas, read on...

Tools:

Upgrade his landscaping experience by getting him the right tools.  Nothing is more frustrating than working out in the yard with a broken or rusty old tool that doesn't work.  Make his work a breeze with these high quality tool ideas.

Father's Day gift

  1. Red Rooster Shovel- D-Handle, roundpoint dirt shovels, aluminum scoop shovels, Irrigation shovels.  
  2. Corona Bypass Pruners
  3. Flexrake Rake- 19" aluminum rake that is well made, durable and light.  Made in the USA!
  4. Red Rooster Professional Vine Loppers- strong and lightweight.  Makes sturdy cuts up to 1 1/4" 

Citrus & Fruit Trees:

What dad wouldn't like going to his own back yard and picking a bag full of succulent, sweet oranges that he grew?  We offer a full line of fruit and citrus trees on dwarf and semi-dwarf root stock for any size yard.  Ask us about starting a backyard orchard for dad.

  • Fruit Trees- Apple, Peach, Nectarine, Cherry, Almond, Walnut, Pear, Fig, Pomegranate & more. Fruit cocktail trees also available (multiple varieties on one tree!)*
  • Citrus Trees- Limes, Lemons including 'Meyer', Grapefruit, Kumquat, Tangelo, Orange, Avocado & more. *

fathers day gift idea

Bonsai:

Bonsai is a great old time hobby that is on its way back.  It provides an outlet for relaxation and helps lower stress. If your dad has always wanted to get into the art of Bonsai, now is his chance.

  • Get a stand alone Bonsai plant so you can plant up your own container for dad. 
All you need is: 
  1. A glazed ceramic pot
  2. Your choice of juniper, boxwood or azalea in Bonsai size.  (All are great plants for beginners)
  3. Training wire so you can shape branches and trunk
  4. Bonsai shears
  5. Bonsai soil mix

fathers day gift ideas

Gloves

  • Sturdy work gloves- in materials like leather, bamboo, jersey knit, nylon, canvas, cotton & more.
  • Waterproof gloves also available for working with irrigation or pond maintenance.

 

Veggies & Herbs

  • 1G or 2G vegetables 
  • Plant a container herb garden for the dad who likes to grill.  Fresh herbs help make the most delicious rubs and sauces for the grillin' dad.

 

Grills and Grill Accessories**

If you really want to go big this year, rock his world with a new grill! See our website for current specials.  We offer only the best brands that actually get the job done and last for years...and years...and years.

Weber Grills-

Offering over 25 in stock and assembled Weber grills. Many styles and colors along with all the accessories.  We carry items you can't find at the box stores.

fathers day gift ideas
The Big Green Egg-

An Eggcelent gift for dad.  The Big Green Egg is the best ceramic komodo type cooker on the market and of course has a lifetime warranty!  It is the most versatile barbecue or outdoor cooking device; cook pizzas, ribs, chicken, whole turkeys, veggies, cakes, pies & more!

Grilling Accessories-

A full line of grilling accessories from Weber and the Big Green Egg. You'll find our selection to be extensive and complete.  If it is something we don't have in stock, we can certainly order it for yo.

  • Covers
  • Grill Cleaners
  • Brushes
  • Grilling Spatulas, Forks and Tongs 
  • Aprons
  • Gloves & Mits
  • Grilling Baskets
  • Cedar Planks
  • Flavor Enhancing Wood Chips
  • Thermometers
  • Rubs, sauces & more!
Hopefully you are inspired by some wonderful gift ideas for your dad.  Whether he has a green thumb or not, he will be sure to enjoy and use these items from Green Acres.   

 

Store Locations

*Availability of products subject to change.  See stores for details.

**Outdoor Living products sold at select Green Acres locations.

Topics: Gift Ideas, BBQ, Backyard Orchard, Big Green Egg

11 of the Best Backyard Orchard Apples Revealed

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jan 21, 2014 3:13:00 PM

apples

When to Plant?

Winter is bareroot season!  Which is a great time to plant fruit trees like apples.  The trees are dormant and transplant well when they are “sleeping.”  Bareroot season is the optimum time to plant an apple tree because you will never find a better selection of apple varieties:  Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Golden Delicious are all types you've probably heard of before.  However, there are plenty more varieties with lesser known names but incredible fruit!  

Why apples?  

Well, that saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is true!  

Studies show that an apple a day can help you maintain a healthy, happy body.  Apples are full of fiber and helpful antioxidants.  Chewing on an apple can even help reduce bacteria and help keep your teeth clean.  Who can deny the joy of biting into a crisp apple or savoring a spoonful of homemade apple cobbler- especially if they are grown in your own backyard. 

Choosing the Right Apple

When you come to the nursery take a look at all the wonderful Dave Wilson Nursery apple varieties available.  While shopping for an apple, make sure to consider these hard to find apples just waiting to be planted in your backyard.  Here are 11 of the best backyard orchard apples for all you Sacramento gardeners out there.

11 of the Best Backyard Orchard Apples Revealed

arkansas black spur apple resized 600

1.  'Arkansas Black' –

Fruit is large with deep red skin.  High quality apple that does well with low chilling requirement.  A great dessert and cooking Apple.  Produces better planted near other apple varieties.

 

2.  'Cox Orange Pippin' –

Old favorite dessert apple.  Fruit is firm, juicy, sweet, rich flavor, not tart but with distinctive aroma.  The skin of this apple is orange red to bright red over yellow.  Self-fruitful.

 

3.  'Empire' –

Sweet and juicy with sprightly flavor, a cross of McIntosh and Red Delicious. 

 

4.  'McIntosh'-

Apple for hot summer climates.  A heavy bearing tree.  Early fall harvest and great pollinator for Mutsu, Gravenstein, Winesap, Jonagold.  This apple is self-fruitful.

 

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5.  'Honeycrisp' –

Becoming one of our most requested apples!  Fruit is crisp and juicy with an aromatic flavor.  Striped red over yellow color.  This apple stores well.  Ripens mid-August.  Pollenized by Gala, Granny Smith, Empire and Red Delicious.

 

6.  'Jonagold' –

Superb flavor, a connoisseurs' choice.  A cross of Jonathan and Golden Delicious.  Yellow with red-orange blush.  Crisp, juicy, all-purpose.  Pollenized by Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith or Red Delicious.

 

7.  'Pink Lady' –

Hot climate apple from Western Australia. Very crisp, sweet tart, distinctive flavor.  A great keeping Apple.  Skin reddish pink over green when ripe.  White flesh resists browning.  Harvest in late October.  Self-fruitful.

 

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8.  'Pink Pearl' –

Unusual pink fleshed, highly aromatic fruit.  Medium-sized, cream and pale green skin, sometimes blushed red. Tart to sweet-tart, depending on time of picking.  Early fall harvest.  Great keeper.  Makes colorful, tasty applesauce.  Early, profuse, pink blossoms in spring.  Needs a pollinizer.

 

9.  'Sierra Beauty' -

Yellow with red blush, rich sprightly flavor, moderately sweet.  Excellent fresh or cooked.  Great keeper.  Favorite late apple in Northern California.  Self-Fruitful.

 

10.  'Sundowner' –

A sister plant to the popular Pink Lady.  Sundowner has a sweet, crispy, white flesh and excellent flavor.  Considered a late harvest variety ripening from October well into winter.  Low chilling requirement.  Self-Fruitful.

 

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11.  'Yellow Newton Pippin' –

Yellow green, late, firm, crisp, slightly tart, superb flavor.  Good keeper.  Famous for cooking, excellent fresh or dried. Self-fruitful.

 

 

Want the best practices on planting trees?  

 

Planting Guide

Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Backyard Orchard

It's Bareroot Pomegranate Time!

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Dec 16, 2013 1:10:00 PM

It’s Pomegranate time!  The selection is never better than this time of the year. 

Carried in special 3” sleeves and at $12.50 each, our quality Dave Wilson pomegranate selection is not only incredible but extremely affordable.  Furthermore, they make excellent holiday gifts for that health enthusiast or gardener.  Plant a pomegranate, give a pomegranate…

 

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The Benefits of the Pomegranate

Pomegranates are native from Iran to Northern India and brought to America by the Spanish Conquistadors. Pomegranates have a long history of lore since they are one of the oldest fruits known to man.  Once thought to symbolize wealth and a long and healthy life, medical studies now show that the juice of the pomegranate contains antioxidants that can offer protection against heart disease, cancer, help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and help clean the arteries.

 

Fruit & Foliage 

The seeds of the pomegranate are edible.  Tossed on a salad, the seeds add color, crunch and are nutritious!  Pomegranate shrubs and trees planted in a landscape offer beauty and focal points to any yard.  Their beautiful flowers attract hummingbirds and their fall foliage offers breathtaking yellows to rival many fall coloring trees!  Pomegranates are also drought tolerant once established.  Planted in a pot or planted in the ground, pomegranates make an awesome addition to any landscape. 

pomegranate plant

Spectacular Varieties

'Eversweet' Pomegranate
  • Very sweet, virtually seedless fruit. (Even immature fruit is sweet!) 
  • Red skin, clear (Non-staining) juice.  
  • Harvest late summer through fall.  
  • Large, showy orange-red flowers.  
  • 8-10 ft. arching shrub, or train it as a tree or espalier.
 'Parfianka' Pomegranate
  • Large red fruit is sweet with a hint of acidity.
  • Arils (outer covering of seeds) are red with very small edible seeds.
  • Vigorous upright plant sets a heavy crop dependably.  
  • Always receives the highest praise for overall flavor.  
  • Maintain at any height with summer pruning.  
  • Great for juice and for eating fresh.
'Ambrosia' Pomegranate
  • Fantastically huge fruit, up to three times the size of 'Wonderful'.  
  • Pale pink skin. Purple sweet juice similar to 'Wonderful'.  
  • Long-lived, thrives in any soil. 

pomegranate 'Red Silk' Pomegranate

  • Medium to large sized fruit with a brilliant red silky exterior.  
  • Large, firm yet edible seeds have a sweet berry flavor and a great acid/sugar balance.  
  • This naturally semi-dwarf tree has a slightly spreading growth habit and sets large crops.  
  • Eat fresh or use in cooking.  
  • Grow as a tree or shrub.  Can be kept to any height by summer pruning. 

 

 

'Wonderful' Pomegranate

  • Most popular pomegranate.  
  • Large, purple-red fruit with delicious tangy flavor. 
  • Drought tolerant.  
  • Beautiful red-orange flavor with beautiful ornamental foliage.  
  • Fall color is spectacular golden that gives an incredible focal point to your yard.

pomegranate growing 

'Sweet' Pomegranate

  • Sweeter fruit than 'Wonderful', and more widely adapted (better quality in cool-summer climates, if your giving as a gift to friends in the Bay Area).  
  • Small, glossy-leafed ornamental tree with showy orange-red blossoms in late spring.  
  • Harvest late summer.  
  • Un-split ripe fruit stores in cool, dry place for two months or more.  
  • Great for espalier and container growing.
 
 
 
 

Topics: Gift Ideas, Edibles, Planting Ideas, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

Why Gardeners are Choosing Columnar Apples

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Oct 22, 2013 5:23:00 PM

columnar apples

Have limited space but love growing fruit?  Why not grow columnar apples?

What are columnar apple trees?  

They are apple trees that grow UP, like columns.  The tree grows vertically with almost no branches and are an excellent space saver.  They can be planted in the ground or in containers.  They work especially well in small areas like decks or patios and grow up to 7-9' tall at full maturity.  Delicious apples are produced in clusters along the trunk off of short spurs.  Depending on the variety chosen a pollinator may be required, so check with a nursery professional for more details. 

Why plant columnar apples?

If space is an issue or if you are just nuts about planting edibles be sure to look into columnar apples.  A typical apple tree can get up to 20 feet tall.  However, with columnar apples you get the fresh produce in a fraction of the size.  

columnar apples

When do they produce?

Apple season is here!  It begins in September and goes through November depending on the variety.  The beauty of the columnar apple is that you get gorgeous full sized fruit the first year you plant them!

columnar apples

Planting Ideas

Try planting columnar apples in two twin containers, we think they look especially lovely when they are flanking a front door or entry way.  If you have a sunny back patio plant in a line of containers like glazed pottery or whiskey barrels.  This can act as a privacy screen to help separate you from the neighbors, or simply to separate your outdoor space.  

Planting Requirements:

  • Plant in full sun.  (At least 6 hours of sunlight per day)
  • Plant trees 2 feet apart
  • Plant at least 2 trees for cross-pollination purposes
  • Water regularly during fruit development

Want even more garden tips for Sacramento?
 

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Topics: What Can I Plant This Season?, Edibles, Tree, Planting Ideas, Backyard Orchard

The Benefits of Grafting Citrus & Why it is Catching On

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Aug 5, 2013 12:45:00 PM

grafting citrus

Raymond Sheehy from the Sacramento Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers gave a two hour Citrus Grafting Clinic at the Sacramento Green Acres on July 27th.  

We were pleased to have nearly 50 guests at this free educational event with attendees from Folsom all the way up to Yuba City.  All who attended had one thing in common, they were interested in learning about citrus grafting techniques and the the endless possibilites that comes with grafting.  If you missed out on the clinic, we thought many of you might be interested in a summary.

 

Why Graft?

Raymond talked about the wonders of having a citrus tree produce multiple types of citrus fruits which is one of the main reasons grafting is growing in popularity.  Raymond is an active member of the California Rare Fruit Exchange and a past President of the Sacramento Chapter.  The group promotes the joys of growing and grafting fruit and citrus trees as well as promoting proper practices, like using certified budwood. Raymond gave a brief discussion of the basic principles of citrus grafting techniques and culture, and followed the information with an interactive grafting demonstration.

grafting citrus

Why Use Certified Budwood?

The California Rare Fruit Growers stress the importance of using certified budwood and stock.  In many commercial citrus-growing areas of the U.S. and the world, budwood is collected only from sources that are certified to be free of a number of viral diseases.  What is the danger of not using certified budwood, one might ask?  Well, there is an awful citrus pest called the Citrus Asian Psyllid, which causes Citrus Greening Disease officially called Huanglongbing (Pronounced “One-Long-Bing”).  The disease is carried by the Asian Citrus Psyllid where it is spread from tree to tree (photo).  The disease causes trees to die at an early age.  The normal lifespan of a citrus tree can be over 50 years old, however, with the disease the tree usually dies after 2-3 years.  The disease can devastate citrus groves and unfortunately, has already negatively impacted the Florida citrus industry and been plaguing southern California since the first Citrus Psyllid arrived back in 2008 and the first case of Citrus Greening disease was detected in Los Angeles in 2012.  


grafting citrus

Why Join a Club?

We are fortunate that the Asian Psyllid has not arrived in northern California and the citrus industry and local organizations like the Rare Fruit Growers tirelessly educate local gardeners about the issue.  Raymond and fellow California Rare Fruit Grower member, Harvy Correia, (photo) showed certified citrus stock and discussed the dangers of using non-certified stock.  They discussed in detail the dangers of the Asian Citrus Psyllid and the importance of not bringing citrus fruit or trees from any area outside of the greater Sacramento Area.  The also encouraged novices to join their group or other similar organizations to be educated by grafting experts who have perfected their techniques with decades of practice.

Grafting Terms Defined:  A Scion is More than Just a Car

While at the clinic, Ray gave some information on the grafting lingo.  For those who are newbies, the plant that is being propogated (the bud or budwood) is referred to as a scion and the plant being grafted onto is simply called the rootstock, or stock.  Raymond showed the group different grafting techniques and grafts. T-Bud grafts were featured at this clinic.  T-bud grafting is a special technique where the scion piece is reduced to a single bud and then grafted on the stock.  As with other types of asexual reproduction, the resulting plants will be genetic clones.

 

grafting citrus

You've Got Options

The beauty of citrus grafting is that the options are truly limitless.  One member of the group claimed that he had a citrus tree with over 101 grafts on a single tree!  Imagine going out to your tree and picking a lemon, an orange, a grapefruit and a mandarin… off of one tree!  Truly, you could pick the type of citrus that you love most and create a specific tree to grow based on your family's tastes.  The attendees of this clinic were especially fascinated by the many possibilities with grafting.  The group was given the opportunity to purchase citrus scions and budding stock and graft their own tree.  Many of the attendees purchased an established citrus tree from Green Acres and bought grafting scions from the California Rare Fruit Growers to make their tree a multiple fruiting citrus. To the left is a photo of Raymond showing a customer how to graft five different types of Citrus trees scions on to his lemon tree that he just bought from Green Acres.  After a few years of maturing, this customer should have multiple citrus fruits coming from just one tree!  The California Rare Fruit Growers holds scion exchanges throughout the year.  If you are interested in learning more or becoming a member of the Rare Fruit Growers in Sacramento to learn the art of grafting, visit their website at www.crfg.org.

Green Acres Nursery & Supply offers free seasonal workshops.  Stay tuned to upcoming wokshops by checking our calendar.  When it comes to citrus, Green Acres has the best quality.  We always carry Certified Citrus exclusively grown by Four Winds Growers and Monrovia Nursery. For more information on Citrus click below.

 

Topics: Free Events, Edibles, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

Blueberries for Sacramento Gardeners

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on May 29, 2013 11:33:00 AM

blueberries for sacramento

Blueberries offer a unique combination of delicious fruit and striking ornamental beauty to the garden and landscape. Blueberries are easy to grow, require little care, and are seldom bothered by pests. Follow these few basic steps and your blueberry plants will thrive and last a lifetime.

Choosing a Variety: 

The southern highbush varieties do especially well in the Sacramento area.  Southern highbush varieties are relatively new and better adapted to mild-winter climates and are even finding success in Southern California.  They were hybridized for superior fruit, soil adaptability, heat tolerance and low winter chilling. They ripen their fruit in mid-to-late spring.


Choose from southern highbush varieties like 'Jubilee', 'Misty', 'O'Neal', 'Sharpblue', 'Southmoon', 'Sunshine Blue' & more.  One of our favorites is the 'Sunshine Blue' by Monrovia.  It is a great low chill & semi dwarf variety perfect for smaller landscapes or patio containers.  With blue-green foliage and hot pink flowers you get a beautiful ornamental look out of this fruit bearing plant.  They are self-fruitful and provide an abundant crop, but yield better crops when planted with another variety.

 

Site Selection & Preparation:

Select a sunny location with well drained soil. Blueberries need at least six hours of sun a day.  Blueberries prefer moist, acidic soil.  Incorporating coir or peat moss can help make any type of soil more agreeable to blueberries.


We heard of a recipe from Farmer Fred which he swears by:

1/3 Peat Moss
1/3 Walk On Bark (small)
1/3 Acidic Soil Mix  (Azalea/Rhododendron soil blend) 

 

Spacing:

Blueberries can be planted in the ground or in containers.  They may be planted close together.  As 2.5' apart they will begin to form hedge like rows.  If you'd like to keep them completely separate, grow them 6' apart.

 

Planting:

If you are planting from container stock, remove from container and slightly roughen up the sides of the rootball.  Set the top soil line about 1.5- 2" higher than the existing ground and firm around the rootball.  Mound up soil on the sides of the root ball and water thoroughly.

If you are planting bareroot (during winter season), spread roots out wide and shallow, cover 1/2" of soil.  Firm soil around roots and water well.

 

Mulching:

Add 2-4" of mulch around the roots of the plant to conserve moisture, prevent weeds and feed the soil.  Some ideas for mulch include bark mulch, sawdust, grass clippings, acidic compost etc.  Repeat every other year.

blueberries for Sacramento

 

Pruning:

Blueberries must get established before they are encouraged to bear fruit.  After the first year they should be heavily pruned to avoid over-fruiting which results in poor growth or small fruit.

1.  Remove all blooms as they appear the first year.  In years thereafter, follow these steps after the leaves have dropped.

2.  Remove low growth around the base.  If it doesn't grow UP it gets pruned.

3.  Remove dead wood and non-vigorous twiggy wood.  Remove any blotchy colored short growth, but keep any long lateral pieces over 3" with bright colored wood.

If 1/3-1/2 of the wood has not been removed by the above steps then thin out fruiting laterals and small branches until you reach this goal.

blueberries for sacramento

 

Fertilizing:

Blueberries are acid loving plants and prefer any fertilizer that is specific to Azaleas and Rhododendrons.  Feed them in late spring, once they become established.  Be aware that blueberries are sensitive to over-fertilization.  Try using organic slow release fertilizer like E.B Stone Azalea Rhododendron food, Cottonseed Meal or Blood Meal.  Make certain that plants are watered well before and after fertilization.  Avoid using fresh manures as they can burn the blueberry roots.

 

 

You can Shop Your Own Backyard.  Click for more tips!

  Edible Gardening Guide

Topics: Berries, Edibles, Backyard Orchard

Creating a Backyard Orchard

Posted by Green Acres Nursery & Supply on Jan 9, 2013 2:21:00 PM

creating a backyard orchard

Everyone loves the taste of freshly picked, tree ripened fruit, but not everyone has the space for a full sized orchard at home.

Backyard Orchard Culture maximizes the yield of fruit production in minimum space by planting a variety of fruit trees close together and controlling their size with vigilant pruning. This innovative fruit tree growing method was developed by Dave Wilson Nursery in order to solve the problem of space constraint faced by the average home gardener.

Tree Selection

Semi dwarfing rootstock is the best option for backyard orchard culture, as it will help prevent the tree from reaching an unmanageable height. Genetic dwarf rootstock are also a good option, but not available for all varieties. When considering fruit varieties, try selecting those which ripen successively, in order to extend the harvesting season.

High Density Planting

By planting multiple trees in a single hole, you limit the tree size by creating competition for water, light and nutrients. This great strategy for backyard orchard culture, as the main goal is to keep the trees as small as possible while still providing them with enough room to produce a decent yield. Keep in mind that with this method, you will have to watch that one tree does not become dominant and overwhelm the others. It is recommended to use trees which are grafted on the same type of rootstock, because their growth rate will be similar.

It is possible to group 2 to 4 trees in a single hole, spaced 18-24 in. apart. Be sure to space the tree groupings 12-15 ft. apart to allow for sufficient air circulation and light saturation.

creating a backyard orchard

Pruning

Year round pruning is an essential part of backyard orchard culture, as it controls the trees size. The ideal size of a fruit tree is ultimately decided by the gardener, and enforced by regular, persistent pruning. The tree should be big enough to produce a decent yield, but small enough for easy maintenance, usually around 4-6 feet tall.

Initial Size Reduction

Initial size reduction pruning can be done just after the fruit tree has been planted. It is  a heading cut  intended to force low scaffolding branches. It is best to start with young trees of a smaller caliper ( ⅝ inch or less) because they are less established and respond better to drastic size reduction. Bareroot trees can be topped anywhere from 15 in. to 4 ft. depending on desired form and placement of existing branches. For multiple trees in one hole, cut all trees back to the same height. When selecting trees of ¾ inch caliper or larger, look for those with low established limbs, 15-18 in. from the ground, and cut tree back by ½ to ⅔. If no low branching higher caliper trees are available, hold off on initial pruning until after new spring growth.

First Year

After spring flush of growth (late April to early May), cut new growth back by half. In late summer (late August to mid September) cut subsequent growth back by half.

Second Year

Prune the same as the first year, cut growth by half in spring and again in late summer. Begin to thin out the center and aim for an open vase shape.

Third Year

Don't forget that you determine the final height of the tree-do not allow it to grow taller than you desire. Continue to cut back all new growth by at least half in late spring and early summer. Some trees may need to be pruned more frequently, depending on their vigor.  Make sure your scaffolding branches are well spaced and do not cross or grow inward.

Creating a backyard orchard

We hope this gives you some inspiration about creating your own backyard orchard.  Bareroot season is January and February.  During this time of year you will find the absolute best selection of fruit trees- we carry over 133 varieties! 
 


Bareroot Fruit Varieties

 

 

Topics: Pruning, Backyard Orchard, Fruit Trees

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