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Trying to save a tree in my orchard

 
Blake Kirby
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In my quest to make my new life in the country I planted a small orchard. I did this before I knew much what permaculture was. Now, I'm attempting to add more biodiversity to the orchard. It's a fun process. In this video you can see one tree that I'm trying to fix after a light wind storm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFIGzQqYkGg

Here's the original video of me planting the orchard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6abAOF9PW6g
 
Troy Rhodes
Posts: 552
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Hey, good luck man! Nature will often meet you more than half way. Let us know how it comes out.

I have debated for a long time about staking new/young fruit trees. In theory, it's safer if you do (assuming your rope doesn't break like yours did, ouch!).

But the drawback is the trunk won't become as strong since it doesn't "have to". In the end, I don't stake/tie them.

I think I have nice sturdy trees now, BUT I lost a honey crisp apple last year in high winds. Broke the graft smack in half.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Finest regards and welcome aboard!

troy
 
Jeanine Gurley
pollinator
Posts: 1399
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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My answer is pure guesswork so take it for what it's worth:

After listening to Sepp and Paul stuff I am thinking that these trees are disadvantaged because the lower limbs are trimmed off so will be naturally top heavy and prone to falling over. I have staked all of mine, partially due to dumb things I did 5+ years ago that I can't undo and on others because they are so top heavy when I bought them.

My next trees I will leave all of the lower limbs and will not attempt to make it a 'tree' form - I wont buy any more like that either. Instead I'll let it have that 'shrubby' look and see what happens.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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our neighbors also had a Honeycrisp apple break in the windstorm with a heavy load of apples on it..at the graft..they weren't here when it happened so they didn't get a chance to regraft it to attempt to save it...maybe they aren't well equipped for their load in the wind?
 
Blake Kirby
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Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I staked mine when I planted because I just thought how people did it. I do a lot in ignorance. I'm learning new ways. When I expand the orchard I'll reconsider.
 
L. Jones
Posts: 80
Location: NW Mass Zone 4 (5 for optomists)
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If it's full-dwarfing rootstock, support is more or less mandatory. They are known for being brittle. They will not be magically supple if you leave them without support...

Full-sized seedling apple rootstock is a different animal.

Semi-dwarf is somewhere in between, but can usually make it without support.

A windbreak upwind may also help, depending on the site.

Likewise, a grafted tree (IMHO) has more issues of weakness at the graft than a budded tree. But given a few years, the graft union will grow strong enough to no longer be an issue.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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