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Soil too wet??...Will fruit and nut trees grow if Birch and Pine do?  RSS feed

 
Blaze Gorski
Posts: 30
Location: USDA zone 5b Ulster County, NY, USA 1200' elevation, catskill mtn foothills area
bee food preservation forest garden
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This is an area of land near a pond. Pine trees and Birch trees already grow, although the beavers are 'pruning' the birch trees quite a bit.

Will Fruit/Nut trees grow here if Pine and Birch already do grow?  Or would the soil be too wet here? It is a peninsula, so that water surrounds this area of land on 3 sides.
 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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I know of a nursery that grafts onto crabapple stock, and boasts that the trees will grow in standing water.  So that should be possible.  I've read that pears are more moisture tolerant than your average apple tree.  But it sounds like protection from beavers will be pretty important, too.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 242
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I'll be interested to read what others may post.  But in my general region, the one or two species of birch I come across are in fairly damp situations, while the pines are in dry ones.  I'm in southeastern British Columbia.  In my valley, the pines are growing mostly on drier sites - though they may be only a 10 or 15-minute walk from a grove of red cedars, hemlock and Douglas fir, all of which indicate wetter conditions.  On lower elevations, birches and shrub willows are often found among these damp-soil loving trees.

To the west of me a couple hours' drive is basically a warmer, drier region whose natural forest cover is dominated by one species or another of pine, sometimes in vast homogeneous stands of a single species.  For nearly a century, that kind of locality, once cleared and cultivated, has proven excellent  for commercial fruit orchards (cherries, apples, peaches, apricots, plums) but only when substantially irrigated, customarily by high pressure impulse-gun sprinkling systems (which are expensive to establish).  By comparison with that sort of development, it seems like you're more interested in a few fruit trees.  A different deal, and probably more feasible.
 
Blaze Gorski
Posts: 30
Location: USDA zone 5b Ulster County, NY, USA 1200' elevation, catskill mtn foothills area
bee food preservation forest garden
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To add some details:

i dug several 3 foot (1 meter or so) hole this past early spring and the bottom half or so of all of the hole was either muddy or filled with standing water 

The 'peninsula' is about 20 paces wide by 100 paces long, the water level of the pond rises and falls with the seasons, the only time it flooded over in recent years was Hurricane Irene several years ago.

There are Pines growing right on the 'shore-line' or edge of the land as are the birches growing among them.

There are wild blueberries growing (highbush) Many 6 feet and taller.
Also there is a plant that grows among the blueberries that looks a bit like bluberry in shape, except that it has more 'branching' and looks like a broom. At its tips there are what look like 'dried-up' blueberries, SO much so that i assumed these were blueberry shrubs that wen "Wild" and put too much growth into the leaves and didn't have enough water to go around to grow its fruit out....but after careful observation over time you can see the bark is much different as well.

I have read that persimmon and mulberry is okay with wet areas, but was hoping so some others... i may simply 'try and see what happens' worst come to worst i lose a couple hundred $, best is that i have some food for my parents on their land 

 
Regan Dixon
Posts: 133
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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I have read that pawpaws and chestnuts are okay with moisture, but have no idea how much water, nor whether you're in that climate zone.  Might be worth looking into?
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 242
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I think a lot may depend upon air moisture in the place you're thinking of planting fruit trees.  And I would never wish to discourage your experimentation.  Results can be unpredictable, both unfortunate and fortunate.  There are a lot of variables, including tree-species varieties, strength of the individual tree saplings planted, and others.  But, when you're doing an organic approach, it's always a good idea to experiment.  It's natural, especially in the early years on your place... so long as there's no urgency to earn money from your place.

My locale is iffy for apples and pears (plums do okay, often, some cots have worked out for some people, but peach plantings are usually a disappointment).  Besides strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, (northern-variety) grapes, and hazelnuts, I do have some of apples, cherries, and pears on my place that have survived - others of these fruit types I planted did not survive past two to six years.  The cherries around here typically have "worms" (larvae) in them.

My take on why the region I mentioned to the west of me has proven ideal for taking the huge financial risk of planting commercial orchards (as I said, cherries, apples, peaches, apricots, plums) is that the natural humidity of that region is low, but the trees can be supplied with the crucially required water via irrigation - and then, when the sprinklers are shut off on one part of an orchard (and turned on in another), the above-ground portions of the watered trees can dry out enough.  Whereas here where I live it's cloudy a little more often, we get more rain, night temps cool down, and the typical humidity is higher.  The problems that afflict or kill trees in my own area are sometimes bacterial, but often fungal.
 
Michael Adams
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I'm just getting to learn the parcel of abandoned land I recently acquired, and was surprised to find a wild apple tree growing (and producing!) directly on the bank of a small creek, surrounded by typical riparian vegetation. This is in 4B Nova Scotia, Canada.
 
Blaze Gorski
Posts: 30
Location: USDA zone 5b Ulster County, NY, USA 1200' elevation, catskill mtn foothills area
bee food preservation forest garden
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I saved some apple seed from Farmer's Market and plan to start them off in this 'wet-land' area as well...just like the or similar to the 'wild apple' you found Michael.

Good point Joel, It is humid, but not as humid as NYC in the summer, but being that it is near a body of water the AIR moisture will be significant i believe...

Thank you Regan, I will try some Chinese chestnuts as well, and possibly paw-paws
 
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