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Fruit Tree under a Live Oak in New Orleans

 
Zach George
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I have a live oak that towers in front of an east facing house. The roof has no gutter. The rain drops to the sidewalk and then onto the space between the sidewalk and street where the live oak is growing. Knowing these conditions, and that New Orleans is zone 9b/10a, does anyone have any suggestions for a fruit tree that would enjoy the soil that has been made by a hundred years of the live oak growing? Because of the way the tree is, there is still morning and afternoon light available and dappled light as well. I have been told that peaches might like dappled light, but am unsure if they would like oak soil. Help….
 
Ben Johansen
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Location: Door County, WI
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Zach- I've heard of Japanese white peaches being grown under (well-pruned) canopies of grapes in Japan. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, you could always try blackberries, just watch out- they have a tendency to go wild...
 
Zach George
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Thanks, Ben. Do you know if peach trees definitely like oak soil? I have heard this, but don't remember where or how reliable the source was, and I can't seem to find much on the internet. Thank you again for replying. Best, Zach
 
Ben Johansen
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Location: Door County, WI
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Ok, I did a little poking around, but have yet to come up with a solid source to match my anecdote. I emailed the guy who told me what I told you, and if anybody knows if/how/why white peaches are grown under grape arbors, it's him- he wrote the book on Japanese vineyards. No joke. That did spur yet another thought, though- grapes would most certainly be tolerant of tannin-rich oak soil, since they contain so many tannins themselves. You'd have to get creative as far as exposing the fruit to light to encourage ripening, but it's definitely doable. I'll let you know when I hear back on the Japanese peaches question.
 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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You might try a pawpaw. (or two, for pollination). This is naturally an understory tree, and while it's recommended commonly to plant them in full sun for better yield, given your climate, it might do just fine since you are a bit south of it's native range.
 
Zach George
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Thank you, Ben and Alder!
 
Ben Johansen
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Location: Door County, WI
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Ok, so apparently, the peaches being grown under grapes in Japan were experimental, and did not go over well. I'm told that peaches are traditionally planted in the place of the grapevines after a vineyard has been ripped out in Japan, and they seem to tolerate the tannin-rich soil well, but in full sunlight. So, I amend my statement; peaches are, to the best of my knowledge, not grown under grape arbors in Japan. Which is actually kind of disappointing, since I always root for the most Dr. Seuss-esque scenario. Ah, well. C'est la vie.
 
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