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Unusual trees we should consider in planning our forest garden

 
David Livingston
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Hi Stephan
What plant /tree do you consider the most surprizing or rewarding in your orchard. One that did things compleatly unexpected . Or an unusual fruit .
Here in France I am trying medlar/nefle and Persimmon/kaki both rare north of the Loire .
Any unusual suggestions for me or maybe a common suggestion with a twist

David
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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David Livingston wrote:Hi Stephan
What plant /tree do you consider the most surprizing or rewarding in your orchard. One that did things compleatly unexpected . Or an unusual fruit .
Here in France I am trying medlar/nefle and Persimmon/kaki both rare north of the Loire .
Any unusual suggestions for me or maybe a common suggestion with a twist
David it's really hard to beat a tree ripened PLUM. My quote in the 9 minute video is very candid "The only thing wrong with this plum is you can never eat just one".
Last fall we counted one day we ate 25 plums off the tree per day for 3 weeks. Never felt so healthy in my life.
Oh I did get a taste of our new sweet cherries. Still regret I didn't plant 50 of them 5 years ago!!
 
David Livingston
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I too enjoy plums . !I am lucky to have about twenty of these trees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabelle_plum . Well at least that is what I have been told they are. I look forward to finding out as we have only been in the property a couple of months These trees seem seem to have spread all over the property by themselves , a good sign I thought . I keep finding new ones
In Angers they are used in tarts, pies and jam.
What types do you grow ?

David
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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David Livingston wrote:I too enjoy plums . !I am lucky to have about twenty of these trees http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirabelle_plum . Well at least that is what I have been told they are. I look forward to finding out as we have only been in the property a couple of months These trees seem seem to have spread all over the property by themselves , a good sign I thought . I keep finding new ones
In Angers they are used in tarts, pies and jam.
What types do you grow ?
David

I am slowly adding to a small collection: Mt-Royal, Stanley, Damson, Reine Claude, Plumcot, CherryPlum. With a few overgrafted cultivars to try.
They spread by suckering. If your original plum is not grafted then the suckers will be true to type clones and you can transplant them where you want them.
If grafted you can use the suckers as rootstock to graft another plum onto it.
 
David Livingston
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Its sad in a way as Plums used to be much more popular here in Europe . ( pre WWII) but I think with the rise of modern supermarkets and big ag , plums being more fragile lost out .
I do enjoy Victoria and suggest you look out for it ( http://www.orangepippin.com/plums/victoria) and am glad for the information that I can graft on to the mirrabelle as I have a victoria already but its quite small . Damsons are nice too . I know in the south of France they call them pig plums , Reine Claude comes in a couple of different colours here in Anjou. I will look out for some to use for grafting
Have you tried mixing pears plums and apples to make jam ?
I can supply an old english recipy if you want .

David
 
Dorcas Brown
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Good to hear about plums. The ones in the store cannot compare with my childhood memories.

I planted some seedling American plums this year. Would they work for root stock when I get some good scion wood ?

Any plum has a better chance of survival than citrus so I'd rather put some effort into them.
 
Tina Paxton
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Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia) are said to produce a tart plum good for eating fresh or as preserves. Has anyone experience with this tree or fruit?
 
Michael Qulek
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Granny Brown wrote: I planted some seedling American plums this year. Would they work for root stock when I get some good scion wood ?
I got excellent results grafting plums onto almond rootstock. These were raw store-bought almond seeds destined for eating. I just sprouted them instead. I grafted Japanese plums, not european. As a general rule though you get the highest success grafting like on like. That is peaches onto peach rootstock, and apples onto apple rootstock. Almond however seems to be ammenable to any other stone fruit, ie:peaches, apricots, plums, and necturines.
 
David Livingston
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Hi Micheal and Stephan ,
Interesting that you are using almonds as root stock . I am hoping to get some almond trees this year having seen the price of the nuts rocket recently
Does this have any effect on the size of the tree ? Here in europe its very common to have quince as rootstock, as it makes for a smaller tree particularly with pears .
Since we can use different rootstocks to make a tree smaller I wonder if we could use other root stocks to make a fruit tree bigger ? Now that would be interesting as I would prefer to have just a few very big trees as there would be more space underneath for other stuff.

David
 
Stefan Sobkowiak
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David Livingston wrote:Hi Micheal and Stephan ,
Interesting that you are using almonds as root stock . I am hoping to get some almond trees this year having seen the price of the nuts rocket recently
Does this have any effect on the size of the tree ? Here in europe its very common to have quince as rootstock, as it makes for a smaller tree particularly with pears .
Since we can use different rootstocks to make a tree smaller I wonder if we could use other root stocks to make a fruit tree bigger ? Now that would be interesting as I would prefer to have just a few very big trees as there would be more space underneath for other stuff.
David

David that would be interesting but most people are looking for the smaller version. I do not use almond as rootstock. Check with your local nurseries what they use as rootstock as there are often soil type adapted rootstock.
 
David Livingston
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Stephan
The problem I have here in France to be honest is cost . Local supermarkets will sell you small to medium sized trees for about 10€ ( produced in Holland I suspect )I asked at the local garden centers and they charge 25€ plus per tree (often the same trees ) but ask the garden centers about rootstock and they know no more than the checkout girls and specialists start at 40€ and up Its hard to justify such costs on my buget alas .
So I hunt trees in other peoples gardens , ask if I can take cuttings , grow peaches and apricots from stones etc . Watch the bocage for stuff . I will be gathering black locust seedlings and sweet chestnut in July for instance to transplant here

David



 
Fabrizia Annunziata
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@David

I had some of those Mirabelle plums in Italy. They were the best ever.

If prices for trees are so high where you are it is a great motivation to learn all about propagation. And it could be an income source in the future if you can propagate enough to sell on.
 
Dan Boone
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Tina Paxton wrote:Chickasaw Plum (Prunus angustifolia) are said to produce a tart plum good for eating fresh or as preserves. Has anyone experience with this tree or fruit?


Tina, the local term for these is "sand plums" and they grow wild in thickets along the roadside where I am, and I've recently transplanted half a dozen of them onto my property. We are a big fan.

They come into fruit earlier than most other wild fruit around here (they are just starting to turn color here and should be ripe within the next couple of weeks) and they are exquisitely sweet and delicious. The trouble is that by the time they are ripe and sweet, they are extremely fragile; it would be near-impossible to transport them to market in a marketable condition, so they've never been made into a commercial crop. And they are small with big pits, so the pulpy proportion of each walnut-sized fruit is less than you'd hope. That's why so many people make jam or jelly from them.

They aren't, however, really a tree at all. They grow out as a thicket of shrubby trees, most similar in form to the riverside small willows (chest high to a moose) of my youth along the Yukon River in Alaska. The largest ones around here are perhaps 8-10 feet tall but most of the "trees" in a thicket are maybe 5-6 feet tall. There are thorns on the trees but these are woody and not intimidating.

I tried transplanting some of them in the late fall last year. Of three plantings, one failed to root, one got browsed to death, and one leafed out nicely in the spring. Then I transplanted five more in the spring right after they flowered (making them easy to find along the roadside) and all but one of these are flourishing (that one appears dead, and is the one that had the smallest root ball). Given that none of these were done in the dormant period for the trees, and in most cases when I dug them up I got fewer roots than I'd like, I'd call them highly tolerant of transplanting.

That's all I know -- hope it helps!

 
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